Lacombe Cenotaph designated as historic resource
Members of the Lacombe Legion and Ladies Auxiliary set candles on the Lacombe Cenotaph as part of a candlelight vigil Saturday night following the designation of the monument as a municipal historic resource. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The Lacombe Cenotaph was officially designated as a municipal historic resource on Saturday evening.
A ceremony, which featured members from the Lacombe Heritage Resources Committee, Lacombe and District Historical Society, Royal Canadian Legion Lacombe Branch No. 79 as well as various local dignitaries marked the occasion.
A candlelight vigil was also held.
“The Lacombe Cenotaph is an important historic resource because it reminds us of the true cost of freedom,” said Mayor Steve Christie.
“Each name engraved on the monument represents a life cut too short and a family suffering the loss of a loved one. The Cenotaph will continue to serve as a reminder to future generations that freedom comes at a price and that those who fought for it deserve our admiration, reverence, and gratitude.”
The Cenotaph’s designation was approved by council back in July and joins the Michener House Museum, Blacksmith Shop Museum, St. Andrew’s United Church, the Kanngiesser Building and Young Residence at municipal historic resources.
“Heritage preservation is important to the culture and identity of Lacombe,” said City of Lacombe Heritage Resources Committee Administrator Jennifer Kirchner. “We are ensuring that the stories of our citizens continue to be a part of our community memory through the preservation of important buildings and monuments such as the Lacombe Cenotaph.”
The Cenotaph was originally placed in Lest We Forget Park in 1924. The park and the placement of the Cenotaph as its centrepiece was a project undertaken by the women in the community involved with the war efforts. It was eventually donated to the then-Town of Lacombe for caretaking in 1955.
It consists of a marble obelisk with a soldier with his weapon at ease. It is inscribed with the words: “To the Glory of God. The Honour of the Armies of the Empire and in Proud Memory of our Dead who Fell in the Great War 1914-1918 and Whose Names are Here Recorded.”
Additions have been made in the years since it was first created to relect the sacrifices of local residents in other conflicts, including WWII, the Korean War and most recently the War in Afghanistan.
The Cenotaph is intended to be an evolving war memorial, with the ability to add names as needed should and when future conflicts occur.