After four years of research Marjorie Stintzi’s dream has come to fruition in the form of an exhibit which fills the downstairs gallery at the Fort Frances Museum and Cultural Centre.
The exhibit –entitled Forget Me Not: Remembering our Fallen in the Rainy River District– features the names of 301 dead service members from across the District and across the four major wars of the 20th century, the First World War, Second World War, Korean War and Vietnam War.
According to a statement from Stintzi, “her research began about 10 years ago when she wsa told the Legion read a list of names every Remembrance Day, she vowed then to make the men more than a name on a list.”
Museum Curator Danielle Marshall says the hope is that these people can be remembered as actual people and not just men who died in a war.
“We’re getting further and further removed from those sacrifices,” Marshall said. “It’s a nice way to remember and to humanize them. We have Remembrance Day ceremonies, which are beautiful but we do often just hear a name. This is more about the people behind the names and to realize they were whole people before they left and paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Stintzi’s statement says she was working primarily on finding the information on soldiers from Rainy River, Stratton and Devlin, but realized that was not fair to the rest of the District. She worked mostly using the cenotaphs as a reference. Three years ago former museum curator Bev Cochrane agreed to host the exhibit.
Stintzi had planned to stop her research at 285 but within two weeks of deciding to stop she added 16 more men, finishing up with a grand total of 301.
The exhibit features pictures of each of the ment that Stintzi could find a photo of, if not they are marked with their military unit insignia. The entries talk about the men’s lives, before the war. The families they left behind and the jobs they did before they left to fight for their country.
The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, Sept. 8. Starting at 6 p.m. The reception offers a sneak peek before the exhibit opens and an opportunity to meet with Stintzi. Coffee, and light refreshments will be served and admission is free but donations are appreciated.
The exhibit will remain in place through Remembrance Day until December.