A new, permanent exhibit is opening at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum, and it will pay tribute to local Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their county.
The Fallen Heroes exhibit will be unveiled at the For Our Veterans ceremony at the museum on Nov. 9, commencing at 7 p.m.
“Essentially the museum’s role was created when the (Fallen Heroes) foundation called us and they asked if we’d be interested in hosting those panels,” said Megan Patterson, museum assistant and programs co-ordinator.
“It’s an honour and a privilege,” she added.
The exhibit will be located along the stairwell leading to the museum’s second floor. The museum’s other permanent war and conflict exhibit, War Year Remembered, is located on the second floor.
Patterson says she likes having the Fallen Heroes exhibit installed along the stairs as she feels it gives a sense of ascension to the heroes, as well as having one veteran focused exhibit lead on to another.
The Fallen Heroes exhibit will feature 10 of the Wetaskiwin area heroes: Henry Bernard Bailer, Jenning Arnold Carlstad, Russell Keith Dahms, Harry Fredrick Denton, George Oliver Godin, Richard Henry Higginson, Harry Charles Irvine, Adrien Joseph Loney, Renwick Ritchie, and Ira Walter Shantz.
Patterson says the museum’s goal with the exhibit is to be able to display the names, photos and lives of the individuals who paid with their lives, as well as inform the public of their stories, and help grow the Fallen Heroes program.
“I think what I like best about the project is it tells their story. Not just in service, but their home story. It truly underlines what they sacrificed for service,” said Patterson.
The 10 heroes named in the exhibit are being recognized thanks to the families who have come forward and offered their names and stories.
“We’re very thankful to our volunteers, they’ve come and renovated the area where we’ll put our heroes on display,” said Patterson.
“It’s thanks to local donors the program is able to exist in this area. We’re just grateful to be a part of it, and we have to give full credit to the foundation and the local donors,” she added.
The For Our Heroes ceremony will involve an evening of reflection and refreshments, with no traditional remembrance ceremony.