Tank Hailed As Monument To Peace
A Sherman tank once used in battle has come to rest on the front lawn of the Olds Royal Canadian Legion and has been christened "Archie".
Legion president David Lanz told a crowd gathered outside the Legion for the dedication,
"This is a 1945 tank used by the King’s Own Regiment. It’s purpose is not to perpetuate war, it’s a memoriam.
The giant machine which has symbolized power, strength and war, will now symbolize the valiant fight of forty-four soldiers from the Olds area who died in battle. Their names are inscribed on a granite plaque beside the tank."
Bert Sharp, the past-president of the Alberta-NWT Command, said the tank shouldn’t remind people of the destruction,
"It’s not intended the memorial be associated with the horrors of war. Rather it’s an instrument that was used to overcome oppression. Let us all who stand here be aware the basic freedoms we enjoy today were not gained without great sacrifice."
Two veterans, Vic Morrison and George Jackson, knew some of the men whose names are immortalized beside the tank. Mr. Morrison and Mr. Jackson left town to join the King’s Own Regiment in Calgary in February 1941. They sailed from Halifax to Scotland and in 1942 landed on the beaches of Dieppe. They used Churchill tanks during the disastrous mission and Mr. Jackson said more men would have survived if they had Sherman tanks,
"The Churchill is a bigger tank but it had a smaller main gun, the Shermans fired high explosive shells. We probably wouldn’t have had so many casualties if we had Shermans, we could have got off the beach."
The Legion traced the history of their tank and found it was used in Israel during the six-day war and in Syria when Israel captured the Golan Heights. The tank weighs 40 tons, travels 50 km/hr., and has a 76 mm gun which can fire 1,850 meters.