NEWS

Memory Box project honours Canada's fallen soldiers

12/31/2014 05:20 EST | Updated 03/02/2015 05:59 EST
A Nova Scotia veteran wants to create more than 100 “memory boxes” for the families of those who have died as part of Canada’s war in Afghanistan.

Mike Dulude builds the wooden boxes containing a folded flag, photo and details of the fallen soldier.

The department of national defence provides one memory box to the family of each killed member of the armed forces, but Dulude says that means only one person keeps it.

He creates those as part of his Allwood Works business, but since Nov. 11 he has been making extra ones for siblings, aunts, uncles and other close friends and family.

He crafts them for free, taking donations to offset the cost of the materials.

"Just talking about it makes me emotional and gives me goosebumps,” said Dulude. "I served 27 years in the forces and as such I understand very well the commitment of the families behind the uniform."

It costs about $100 to build the box. Dulude has received enough donations to make 25.

He hopes families from across Canada will contact him if they want a second memory box. He calls it the Tribute to the Fallen Memory Box Project.

"The brothers and sisters, perhaps uncle who was perhaps close to the individual, don't have anything to remember the individual, so I said, ‘What a great opportunity to give something to them.’"

The first dozen will go to families in Alberta, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. One will go to the family of Capt. Jonathan Snyder.

He grew up in Penticton, B.C., and summered in Nova Scotia. He died on patrol in Afghanistan in 2008.

His mother Anne now lives in Nova Scotia. She said her son wore military clothing from boyhood and always wanted to serve.

"He was a soldier with soul,” she said. 

Snyder served one Afghan tour in 2006 and returned in 2008.

She heard from Dulude recently, six years after her son’s death. 

"The first reaction was I was quite overwhelmed again and very touched that people still want to remember," she said. “The war is almost fading into black now, except for the troops who have survived."

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