Six-foot-tall silhouette statues erected throughout Canada to honour veterans
Published Wednesday, July 4, 2018 12:27PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 4, 2018 10:31PM EDT
Dozens of life-size silhouettes are being erected across Canada to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War and offer some perspective of how gruesome the fight had been.
As part of the “There But Not There” campaign, six-foot-tall silhouettes of soldiers are being installed in public spaces around Canada “to better understand how the war came to affect millions of people from countries around the world,” according to the campaign’s website.
“These are the ghosts of those who came before us,” Gen. Rick Hillier, former Chief of Defence Staff with the Canadian Forces, told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday.
“Those ghosts line every path we take now as a nation and we can learn from that.”
The program launched in the U.K. in February and has since brought in more than $4 million in donations. In Canada,the silhouettes have been placed at several landmarks, including outside Parliament Hill and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa and at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto, to name a few.
Sales of the silhouettes, including a miniature 25-centimetre version, raise money for several international charities that support veterans. The benefitting charities include the True Patriot Love Foundation, which supports Canadian veterans, and the Invictus Games Foundation, which uses the power of sport to help rehabilitate ill and injured veterans.
Natacha Dupuis, the 2017 Invictus Games Team Canada co-captain, lives with post-traumatic stress disorder following a 2009 tour of duty in Afghanistan. She earned five gold medals at the most recent Invictus Games last fall in Toronto – a feat she said wouldn’t have been possible without extra help.
“I would certainly not be where I’m at today without the support of the different charities,” Dupuis said.
The campaign has also gained the support of celebrity survivalist and British Army veteran Bear Grylls who said: “It is through remembering and honouring the past that we can best stand alongside those facing so many scars of conflict today.”
With a report from CTV's Parliament Hill Correspondent Kevin Gallagher