A new installation at the entrance to the Galway development in St. John’s was unveiled Saturday.
Six silhouettes of soldiers entitled “There But Not There” were designed by English artist Martin Barraud to commemorate those who fought in the First World War.
They’ve been dubbed “ghost soldiers” and thousands of them have been made – single uniformed “Tommies” after the British slang for ordinary soldiers.
The six installed on Beaumont Hamel Way were acquired by DewCor CEO Danny Williams when he saw them displayed in Ottawa.
While they were created as an act of remembrance, they’re also part of a fundraising campaign for veterans and armed services personnel – funds raised will support appropriate charities in their country of purchase.
In Canada, that includes the True Patriot Love Foundation which provides Canadian military and veteran families with support, as well as the Invictus Games Foundation which supports wounded, injured or sick soldiers and veterans through sports.
“I thought that was very worthwhile,” said Williams, who said the installation is also symbolic.
“It shows we care – it shows we don’t forget.”
He expects thousands of people will drive by the silhouettes on a daily basis once Costco and other shops open in Galway.
Members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment unveiled the installation.
Standing next to one of the silhouettes, Brigadier General Retired Ed Ring said the sight gave him mixed emotions.
“Having served in the military myself for over 35 years, it makes me sad, but it makes me proud as well, that Newfoundlanders have made such a contribution to the military over the years.”
Ring called it a “fitting tribute” that will serve “as a constant reminder to people that drive by about the sacrifice that was made by soldiers so many years ago.”
Veterans Affairs minister Seamus O’Regan was on hand for the unveiling.
He said it’s a reminder to all who pass that we must never forget – a “constant reminder that when men and women serve, we must look after them when they return again.”