A monument to veterans erected by the Royal Canadian Legion in downtown Yellowknife has been badly damaged.
The apparent vandalism, first reported to Cabin Radio on Friday morning, left the monument’s figures sprawled to one side of the base – in some cases appearing to hang by threads.
Members of the Legion became aware of the damage on Thursday evening and reported it to RCMP, local second vice-president Christine Jalbert told Cabin Radio.
“It is just so sad,” said Jalbert. “It is so disrespectful. It is a tribute to our soldiers and that kind of damage is so intention. We were horrified to see it.
“It almost looks like someone stood up there and kicked it until it broke. That is not something that was done in a minute.
“We’re really hoping someone will come forward with some information. We’re hoping someone saw something.”
RCMP said they are investigating alongside colleagues from Joint Task Force (North) military police.
“Anyone who would have witnessed anything suspicious in the area of the Monument is asked to please contact Yellowknife RCMP at 669-1111,” said police in a statement.
The monument was unveiled on November 11, 2005, by then-Premier Joe Handley.
That year, the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, had been designated the “Year of the Veteran.”
At the time, the unveiling of the Legion’s monument joined a range of other special commemorative events, including ceremonies on both July 2 and November 11, a dedicated museum exhibition, and a range of education materials for NWT schools.
The inscription on the monument reads: “This monument salutes all men and women who have served Canada in a time of war and peace. We will remember them.”
Inuvialuit artist Eli Nasogaluak, from Tuktoyaktuk, created the monument. Jalbert said the Legion is working to assess whether the damage can be repaired.
Damage to the monument left its figures lying at an angle. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
“We feel this falls directly on our lap. We’re going to work with the City and the police, and we’ll do what we can to repair this,” said Jalbert, who added a fundraiser would be established by the Legion in the near future.
The monument sits within sight of the city’s RCMP detachment, on a street named Veterans Memorial Drive.
“It’s very disappointing and heartbreaking that somebody would vandalize the statue like that,” said the city’s mayor, Rebecca Alty.
“It’s a little shocking.”
Some elements of the monument had been snapped from their base. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio