Lafarge Canada is donating Canadian granite for a monument commemorating the Canadian airmen and airwomen who served alongside Great Britain during the World Wars, specifically the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
The monument is being constructed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, England, the United Kingdom’s 150-acre sanctuary and “center of remembrance” of those who have served.
Lafarge was approached for help finding granite for the monument in February 2011 by Captain Jean Houde, deputy flight commander of the Canadian Forces’ 426 Squadron. “It is an honor and a pleasure to have been asked to participate in this small way to the construction of a memorial to Canadian airmen and airwomen,” says Vice President of Aggregates for Lafarge Canada Bruce Semkowski in a written press statement. “On behalf of Lafarge Canada and all of its employees, we thank Captain Houde for this opportunity.”
Inspiration for the Canadian memorial came when British Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant Alfie Hall visited the National Memorial Arboretum in May 2010 and noticed the absence of a memorial dedicated to the various Canadian air forces that have served in the UK. Lt. Halls’ own 609 (West Riding) Squadron had 21 Canadian pilots serving alongside his own countrymen during WWII. As a result, Lt. Hall decided to spearhead a fundraising campaign for a monument.
The memorial consists of a circular ring comprised of 13 equal pieces of granite representing each of the 10 Canadian provinces and three territories, according to Lafarge Canada. Within the circle is an upright monolith inscribed with a history of the various Canadian air forces set atop a maple leaf, Canada’s national emblem, also in granite. The monument’s design is based on the modern Canadian Forces roundel, which is painted on all CF aircraft.
Dedication of the Canadian memorial at England’s National Memorial Arboretum is slated for July 8, 2011.
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Hundreds of hard-hat workers from across the United States, representing all parts of the aggregate and road construction industries, rallied on the National Mall on May 25 in support of a multi-year surface transportation bill. Congressional and industry speakers told the cheering crowd the bill is needed to create tens of thousands of new, good-paying American jobs in road construction. The rally was sponsored by 10 associations, including the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association. The event was held in conjunction with the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In.