It was a promise made by the Canadian government 85 years ago. Today it came to fruition.
Over one hundred men died building the Welland Canal in the early 1900s. Today a memorial to honour them was unveiled so that their sacrifices are not forgotten.
Hundreds gathered to get the first look of the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial.
Construction on the Welland Canal began in 1913 to 1935. On opening day, government officials promised to memorialize the men who died working.
It was a long process, but it finally happened.
In the 18 years it took to build, at least 137 men died. Those are the deaths that have been documented. There could be more.
It was challenging work, and there were few health and safety standards at the time. Most of the men died horrific deaths.
The crowd was filled with family members of the men who died.
The memorial is made up of gates with the names of the fallen on them. There is a timeline on the ground showing how many men died in each year.
The focal point is a reflective wall. One side is black, and reflections can barely be seen. It represents the canals dark past. On the opposite side of the wall you can see your reflection perfectly clear. That side is supposed to represent the greatness of the Welland Canal and all the benefits its brought to this area.
The memorial is located next to the Lock 3 Museum. Historians say, without the canal, the heartland of North America would not be accessible to commerce from around the world.