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The Cenotaph, erected in the St. Norbert Cemetery, was an over-grown, long forgotten homage to the thirteen men who fought and died in World War I and who were connected to the St. Norbert area.

In 2008, Art Bloomfield, long-time St. Norbert resident, took a closer look at the overgrown monument while walking his young grandson to preschool. Soon after, he and his family made it their personal mission to ensure that the cenotaph and those thirteen men whose names are etched in stone were forgotten no more.

Celebrate and honour these men at the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Lest We Forget image

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Why We Remember

World War I, or the Great War, began in 1914, taking the lives of almost 66,000 Canadians, while injuring some 172,000 more. This was at a time, where the population of Canada was barely eight million people. The battles at Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge and Somme, were a few of the deadliest conflicts of the war. Canada's losses numbered almost 18,000 in those three battles alone. Armistice was finally achieved on November 11th, 1918 and the "war to end all wars" was over.

Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae wrote his famous "In Flanders Fields" poem in May 1915. Today, that poem serves as a great reminder of the sacrifices made by all those soldiers as well as their families back home.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

Through the words of his poem, McCrae turned the poppy into a symbol of the fight for peace and freedom... and of course, remembrance.

St. Norbert is just one of many communities across our great country, who felt the loss of its citizens. All these years later, we have the right, the privilege and the duty to honour those men... those thirteen brave men, whose names are etched in the stone of the cenotaph.

We are happy to announce that we have found information about the cenotaph at the St. Norbert Cemetery on Ste. Therese Avenue, that had previously eluded us. Read the story.

Since about 2009, the cenotaph has become well known to the members of the St. Norbert community and beyond, as each year, many people honour the fallen.

image of a poppy Lest We Forget image of a poppy

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