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Fallen Four Memorial needs repair
Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:20PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 24, 2019 6:42PM MDT
A memorial created to commemorate four Mounties killed in the line of duty is in need of repair.
“We’re starting to see a little bit of deterioration with regards to our center plinth stands,” said Colette McKillop, special projects director for the Mayerthorpe Fallen Four Memorial Society.
McKillop said the foundation below the memorial is sinking, causing the base of the statues to crumble and is creating issues with the brick pathway.
“What we’re hoping to do is stabilize the area,” she said.
“It’s really important to us to maintain the integrity of the park and its functionality.”
The memorial was built in 2008 to commemorate RCMP officers Lionide Johnston, Anthony Gordon, Brock Myrol and Peter Schiemann.
They were gunned down while investigating a marijuana grow-op on a rural property on March 3, 2005.
As one of the worst mass police shootings in Canadian history, the tragedy touched many across the country.
“I think it’s first of all important to remember what has happened,” said Sgt. Grant Kneller, Mayerthorpe RCMP detachment commander.
“I’m a firm believer that going forward you have to remember where you’ve come from and what has happened and learn from those things.”
An average of 7,000 people visit the memorial each year.
It features a bronze statue of each of the fallen officers along with an obelisk in the center dedicated to all peace officers and first responders who have died in the line of duty.
“We wanted to create something beautiful out of a very tragic situation,” McKillop said.
The society created a GoFundMe page in September, hoping to raise $17,000 to complete the work. As of two weeks ago McKillop said they had only raised about $800.
“One of our members, Const. Mandy Love, suggested that she perhaps place it on a members only website for RCMP and veterans, and she did that and it just exploded.”
They now have more than $26,000 to help with the repair work.
Originally they were just going to replace the stone pathway with concrete.
“Because of our GoFundMe we’ve been able to expand on that and do something possibly that would be a little more aesthetically pleasing,” McKillop said.
“We would put concrete underneath the statues and then re-apply the paving stones to it,” she added.
Sgt. Kneller hopes to work with the society to find ways to generate a constant stream of revenue to keep the park open.
“So we’re going to hopefully get some permanent events going in the future,” he said.
The repairs are expected to be complete in mid-June.