• By: Ottawalife Contributor

The Never Forgotten National Memorial

The inspiration for the Never Forgotten National Memorial (NFNM) came from a single gravestone. T. Truskoski was laid to rest at the age of 17 in the Canadian War Cemetery in Moro, Italy. Toronto businessman Tony Trigiani came across the young man’s gravestone while taking a detour on a business trip in 2009.

On a second visit, a friend took a picture of the gravestone. Once printed, she noticed the date on the corner of the picture — April 19. It was the same date as the one on the gravestone.

NFNM Concept Site Plan“I tell this to some people and they think nothing of it,” says Trigiani, “For others, it makes the hair on their head stand. To me, it’s a sign.”

Fast forward to today, and Trigiani with the support of Veterans Affairs, Parks Canada and several prominent Canadians spearheaded a project that will see the creation of a memorial in Canada to honour the more than 114,000 Canadians who never returned home from conflicts abroad.

Retired Canadian Major-General Lewis MacKenzie supports the NFNM and explains what the monument will mean to Canada. “We will have the world’s first Never Forgotten National Memorial, welcoming home the souls of Canadian service men and women, wherever they may lie,” he said.

Located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Nova Scotia, Mother Canada, the statue and central point of the new memorial, will face the Atlantic Ocean at a precise angle of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, in France.

Another important supporter of NFNM is Colonel Alain-Michel Pellerin, former senior executive of the Canadian Forces. “It is a very important project that will be inaugurated in 2017, 100 years after the Battle of Vimy Ridge.” Pellerin also points out, “The year 2017 is also significant for Canada, as it marks 150 years since the birth of our nation.”