The architects of a memorial to Canadians who died in the Afghanistan conflict didn't want to take credit for much on Nov. 11.
Michael and Elizabeth Pratt, the brother and sister who kicked off the idea of the Walk to Remember, were present Sunday for the official unveiling of the monument and the raising of a Canadian flag at the site.
Elizabeth said much of the credit has to go to Langley Township and the Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley.
"We're so thankful that they've allowed us to be a part of it," said Elizabeth.
The Walk to Remember is 158 trees, each planted in memory of a soldier or civilian who died in Afghanistan since 2001.
Located in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum between Fraser Highway and 56th Avenue, at 209th Street, the walk has a pole with the names of all the victims curving around it on a steel band.
The monument represents a tree cut short, as the lives of the victims were cut short.
Michael thanked people like Township staffer Jason Winslade and Township Councillor Grant Ward, who helped point the siblings in the right direction when they first came forward with their idea.
He also had kind words for the late Eric Bysouth of the Langley Rotary Club. Rotary sponsored 10 trees and helped build the base for the monument.
Local politicians like Ward, Mayor Jack Froese, and MP Mark Warawa, all made personal donations, Michael said.
"They gave credibility to the project," he said.
Sian LeSueur was pleased to see the monument built near one of her son Garrett Chidley's favourite places.
Chidley, a Langley man, died on Dec. 30, 2009 along with three fellow soldiers and a Calgary Herald reporter in an attack in Afghanistan.
Chidley flew out of the nearby Langley Flying School before his deployment, LeSueur said.
She commended the Pratts for planting the seed that grew into the huge memorial.
"It's so refreshing to see that there are young people out there who know the meaning of Remembrance Day," she said.
Serving soldiers, members of the public, politicians, and a full marching band attended the Sunday event, which saw the monument unveiled just after 2 p.m.
The trees, planted along a winding path leading south and east from Fraser Highway, were marked with Canadian flags.
After the ceremony of unveiling, members of the crowd were invited to help plant some of the last remaining trees to be part of the walk.
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