The addition of students who were casualties and a historic staute are highlights of an augmented memorial for former Hamiltonians who died in two world wars.
Cathedral High School used the observance of Remembrance Day on Friday as an opportunity to unveil it’s ‘Wall of Distinction and War Memorial Project’ honouring 74 students who died in World War I and II in the presence of students, staff, descendants and family members of those who died.
“The new war memorial will actually have plaques of the 74 Cathedral heroes, and those plaques will each contain, for the most part, portraits of the soldiers, as well as military information,” teacher and memorial facilitator Vince Lepore told Global News.
The original memorial, erected some 75 years ago, was the starting point for Lepore who characterizes the recent additions as “a labor of love.”
“A number of these soldiers as the students, staff and members of the greater community will learn … were only one, two or three years older than the current students at the school,” Lepore said.
“So this is a great way to pay tribute to these Cathedral heroes as well as to to educate our current and future students.”
Lepore, a Cathedral staffer for 37 years, says a myriad of venues were used over the years to confirm which soldiers did attend the school, including newspapers, yearbooks and dialogue with friends and family still living.
“We had to confirm in two different ways that the soldiers did indeed attend Cathedral,” Leopre explained.
“It was made a little more difficult because it’s research which goes back to the beginning of COVID and we were limited at times in our access to archival information.”
The ‘Wall of Distinction,’ which hangs outside the main office, sits beside a marble sculpture built in 1947 also bearing names of some of the estimated 500 school heroes who fought in the war.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.