Most Canadians, particularly those who were alive during World War Two, are familiar with the iconic photo of a small boy reaching out to his father who is marching away with his regiment.
According to a CBC News story, soon the famous snapshot, which featured prominently in Canadian wartime bond drives, will be coming to life near the very spot it took place.
A pair of artists are currently making the image into a life-sized sculpture that is expected to adorn a downtown street New Westminster, British Columbia. Plans are also underway to declare the setting of the event a national historic site.
The photograph, which was later entitled Wait for Me, Daddy, was captured by Claude P. Dettloff of the Vancouver Daily Province on Oct. 1, 1940.
The shot shows 5-year-old Warren Bernard chasing his father Jack, a private in the British Columbia Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles, as the unit marched down the main street of the Vancouver suburb.
“I wanted to go with Dad. I wanted to be with [him],” Bernard, now 78, told Canada’s national broadcaster last week. “I had it my mind that this was it.”
Wait for Me, Daddy isn’t the only famous wartime photograph to be immortalized as a statue. The Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington D.C. is based on the Pulitzer Prize Winning Joe Rosenthal photo taken on Iwo Jima in February, 1945. Additionally, a 25-foot tall statue in San Diego entitled Unconditional Surrender recreates the famous (and now controversial) Time Square VJ Day kiss immortalized on film by Alfred Eisenstaedt of Life magazine.
To read about the Canadian statue project and its proposed 2014 unveiling, click here.
BUFFALO SOLDIERS TRIUMPH IN THE FACE OF BIGOTRY
Also last week, The Salt Lake City Tribune ran a fascinating item about the reaction of Utah residents when the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment was first transferred there in 1896. According to the story, local sentiment among the largely white population ranged from fear and suspicion to outright hostility towards the so-called Buffalo Soldiers (a name given to African American troops by native warriors because the soldiers’ hair reminded them of a bison’s coarse mane). The story, written by Pat Bagley, describes how the men of the regiment gradually overcame most (but sadly not all) of the locals’ bigotry and went on to win the respect and admiration of many townsfolk during their 19 months in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, hundreds of members of the 24th would perish in the upcoming Spanish American War, both from battle and yellow fever.
‘SITH HEADS’ STORM LIVING HISTORY EVENTS
When people attend battle reenactments, they expect to see warriors from a long time ago… but not from a galaxy far, far away. Yet that’s just what’s happened at a pair of recent living history events in the U.S. and the U.K. when pranksters dressed as Star Wars storm troopers arrived on scene. According to the Huffington Post, an event celebrating British military history was crashed by an unnamed Imperial trooper decked out in the familiar white body armour and helmet. The incident follows another stunt from April in which similarly attired visitor dropped in on a Civil War reenactment. The publishers of that photo and story speculated that the storm trooper might have invaded the reenactment when he heard there would be rebels there.