A local man has made it his business to make sure veterans graves at the Drumheller Cemetery are looked after, and last year he enlisted help.
This year he is back on Sunday, June 2 for the second annual Field of Honour Clean up Day.
Eric Dahl has made national headlines for his efforts. Last year he invited the public to help in the cleanup, and on June 2 they will be doing their part.
“Last year there was such a great response from locals and people who came in from out of town, that we are starting off with lunch,” Dahl tells the Mail. “I figured if people are taking time out of their day and dollars out of their pocket to come to Drumheller, we are going to feed them first.”
Last year he had a strong turnout both from people from Drumheller and outside the valley. This year looks the same. He says there is a strong contingent coming from veterans motorcycle clubs.
“The Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Club is sending 15-20 and the Commandos Canada Motorcycle Club are planning to send 25-30,” he said. “There may be one or two clubs that may be showing up as well.”
“I am expecting it to be twice as big as last time.”
He has invited Kirk Powell of Airdrie as Guest of Honour.
“ He is an Afghanistan Veteran and is currently a CSC officer in Calgary,” said Dahl. “He is really looking forward to partaking in this.”
The day begins on June 2 with lunch at noon. At 1 p.m., Dahl will give a cleaning tutorial to the volunteers and then the clean up goes from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
He encourages volunteers to bring tools such as kneepads, gardening gloves, putty knives, scrub brushes, and brooms. There will also be some tools on site to use.
“What resonates with the veterans, is I think they are impressed civilians are taking an active interest in their well being and their memories are preserved,” said Dahl. “The majority of people who are going to be showing up are veterans and I am extremely grateful for that.”