Town councillors Alex Reed and Morgan Nagel have teamed up to propose the forthcoming Bow River Bridge be named the "Veterans Bridge" in honour of all the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have given their lives in the service of Canada.
Both were moved by the unveiling of the new bronze at the community cenotaph park and believe even more can be done to recognize local veterans.
"In Cochrane, we've got the new military monument, we have the new cowboys on Centre Ave," points out Nagel. "I just felt like this was something I wanted to keep on pushing in our town's respectful and traditional style of our art."
Both aren't particularly impressed with the route being taken with public art in Calgary and see this as an opportunity to continue to use art to speak to our town's heritage.
"We are continuing to build the history of our community," says Reed. "I was so touched by that monument. Just sitting there, reading that list of names really hit home. It's nobody I personally know, but I know I am a beneficiary of their actions and this is a fair tribute to these people."
While the bridge is a few years away from completion, now is the time to give the naming consideration, the pair believe, so it can be incorporated into the design and become not only a means of transportation, but a cultural piece.
Nagel says Canadians simply don't show enough appreciate for people who fight in our military. When Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down at the National War Memorial, Nagel says Ottawa's response was to suggest members of the military refrain from wearing their uniforms in public unless absolutely necessary.
"We are building this culture in Canada where we hide our military," says Nagel. "We put them in a place where we don't look at it and act as if they don't actually go and put their lives on the line. We act like they are just for peace keeping and natural disasters but in reality these young men and women go and get shot at and shoot other people. It's the ultimate sacrifice."
Nagel says he has run the idea by some councillors, family and friends and has received overwhelming positive response to the idea.
The councillors will also be asking administration to prepare a report on options to permanently display the names of the men and women from Cochrane who have died during service in the Canadian Armed Forces, if such a list is available.