By Schnarr, J.W. on September 13, 2017.
The Immortal Flame at Mountain View Cemetery was re-dedicated Tuesday in a ceremony that did not actually include a flame.
The Immortal Flame is a community memorial that reminds local residents about the rich military heritage Lethbridge possesses. It also marks an area of the cemetery dedicated to fallen military and RCMP members.
“Three simple words: Lest we forget,” said local Legion member and volunteer Glenn Miller, who emceed the event. “That sums it up. It’s our job to help tell that story and pass it on.”
In honour to recognize the efforts of crews around southern Alberta battling the Kenow wildfire in the Waterton area, a decision was made not to light the Immortal Flame at this time.
“The fire ban has even been extended to this, today,” Miller said. “And certainly out of respect for those in southwest Alberta, and the fires. The essence of remembrance was achieved today, as was the dedication.”
The original monument was first lit on Dec. 27, 1966, in partnership with the General Stewart Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Lethbridge Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans, and the City of Lethbridge.
It was glued together with nine pieces of granite. Miller said while it was a fine memorial, it was not designed for the freeze/thaw cycle experienced in southern Alberta.
“Over time, it’s been cracked and repaired three times,” he said.
The new version is both more sturdy and designed to protect the flame from the elements better.
The new version was made possible with the efforts of the Legion Poppy Trust Fund, Atco and the City of Lethbridge.
“All of it is brand new,” Miller said. “We did, however, keep the spirit and intent of the original design. That’s what we see today.”
The Immortal Flame will be officially lit during another ceremony with a date yet to be determined.
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