Friday, November 5, 2010

Grave Faces III


Merritton, Ontario


This is the face I am most familiar with. He stands worn and weather beaten at the cenotaph in my hometown.

He is unusual because he is not on a pedestal. He stands almost at ground level, signifying to the working class men and women who gather around him on Remembrance Day that he is one of them - a son, father or a brother.

But his gaze is turned away from the people.

And he doesn't speak to the glory of war or to patriotism.

He simply represents the dead.
















Port Dalhousie, Ontario

This young man came home.

The zoom lens on the camera has caught a pensive moment that the casual viewer from street level would not see.

As he places a wreath at the cenotaph is he wondering about fate? How it happened that he lived while others died? 

All we know for sure is that soon he will straighten his back and turn his face to the future.

This sculpture is not so much about mourning lives lost as it is about teaching us that life must go on.



















Thorold, Ontario


This proud figure stands very high, so high it was almost impossible to get a view of his face.

The war never really ended for him, his work has continued.

He epitomizes the line in the national anthem, "Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee".


















Niagara Falls, Ontario

This soldier is also placed on a very high pedestal.
His helmet is off, he has taken a moment to remember his comrades.

We get the feeling however, that he thinks he will be able to rejoin the battle at any minute.

He does not yet understand that he is one of the fallen.



















Welland, Ontario

This astonishing monument looms across Chippawa Park in Welland.

According to the plaque it was the last monument made in Canada commemorating World War 1. It was dedicated in 1939 on the day after World War II broke out.

The Canadian soldier is protecting a female figure from a terrible evil. His fighting stance tells us he will never give up, never retreat.

In 1939 the woman represented Great Britain and other European allies.

Today she represents Afghanistan.

***

Thank you to our veterans and thank you to the men and women who are in uniform serving our country today.































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