In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow. Between the crosses row on row.
Those words from that famous poem, In Flanders Fields, will pop into your mind when you go down Windsor Ave. in Coronation.
For two blocks the boulevard behind the war memorial is filled with white crosses; 380 of them.
These crosses were made by Ron and Deb Bullick, Shelley and Randy Lundy, with help from Bill and Bubbles Bullick.
It started in 2015 when Ron saw a news item about a community in Calgary that put out white crosses to honour veterans.
Ron liked that idea and after talking it over with Shelley and Randy Lundy they decided to do something to honour the veterans from the Coronation area.
In the first year, they made crosses for the 60 men from this area that had lost their lives or had been missing in action during the two world wars. Chris and Tony Selzer did the painting and name printing for those.
In 2016 and 2017 they did 50 more each year.
These crosses represented the men and women who enlisted in the wars and were able to come home and had now passed away.
They got the names from the Honour Roll list the local Legion has.
The number of names for an area of this size is a little surprising but what was disappointing was not being able to find very many names for the women that had enlisted.
A lot of the names would only have the initials for the name and that makes it hard to tell if it is a man or a woman.
The response from the community was wonderful, said Bullick.
The people were even stopping them on the street to thank them and give donations to the project. This year they had enough donations to cover the cost of making all the remaining 220 crosses so they got to work and got them all done.
Ron and Randy would make the crosses while Deb, Shelley and Bill and Bubbles painted them.
When it was time to put the crosses out on the boulevard they put out a request for help. Brad Harnahaw, Grade 7 shop teacher, answered the call, bringing his class of 20 students.
Harnahaw says that he gets very passionate about the veterans.
When he was a student the veterans were still young and healthy enough to visit the schools and listening to them is what made him really see what a sacrifice they were willing to make for the cause.
“This could be a totally different place without them,” he said.
Students today do not get that opportunity and Harnahaw worries that they will lose the connection between those brave men and women and their own daily lives.
Working with those crosses helped them make that connection, especially when they would find a name that they knew.
Making 380 crosses takes a lot of time and effort, but when you ask Ron why he would do that he simply says “People seem to forget and this is a good reminder.”
Editor’s note: Four veterans from Coronation and area known to Ron Bullick that are still with us are Dave Pennington, Bill Duncan Sr., Wilf Sieger and Max Heidecker.
by Lois Perepelitz