'Wait for me, Daddy' photo immortalized in bronze
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, October 4, 2014 10:37PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 4, 2014 11:41PM EDT
Warren Bernard was already the star of the most famous Canadian photograph from the Second World War.
Now, 74 years later, he’s been immortalized in bronze as the iconic “Wait For Me, Daddy” scene was unveiled as a statue Saturday in New Westminster, B.C.
Bernard was five years old in 1940, when he broke free from his mother’s reach and ran to his father, a soldier, to say goodbye.
The scene is all too real for Charles Bernhardt, one of the soldiers who was marching in New Westminster on that October day.
“I feel quite emotional sometimes,” the 93-year-old said Saturday. “Because I can't look at that picture without thinking about the guys that didn't make it.”
Also at the ceremony, another one of the many men who were shipped off overseas.
“You have to remember, I am one of the many that gave you the freedom you have enjoyed all your life,” said 94-year-old Henry Kriwkon.
British Columbia Deputy Premiere Rich Coleman also spoke at the event, where a commemorative stamp and two dollar coin were also unveiled.
“The iconic photograph, as you know, captures two things,” Coleman said. “The pain of separation and the value of duty.”
For Bernard, the photo also captures separation on a second level: it was the last time his family would be together, as his parents’ marriage didn’t survive the war.
But that day was also the start of something that would last Bernard a lifetime.
After the photo found its way to the front page of papers, he was enlisted to raise money for the war effort.
“The organizers referred to me as the boy in service,” he told the crowd at the memorial’s unveiling. “Well, the 80-year-old boy is still in service."
With a report from CTV's Michele Brunoro