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Calgary police search for 200-kg stolen war memorial

WATCH ABOVE: Police are investigating the theft of a war memorial statue from a cemetery in southeast Calgary. Doug Vaessen reports.

CALGARY – Police are asking for help from the public after a veteran memorial statue was stolen from Calgary’s Mountain View Funeral Home over the weekend.

The theft of the statue, named “Anvil of Peace,” was reported missing on Friday, according to the southeast funeral home’s property manager, Lonnie McGowan.

“I have two great-grandfathers that served in the war, and my grandfather served in a war,” said McGowan. “It’s a monument to them and what they did for us. Theft is theft, but this takes it to another level.”

Valour Canada, a group dedicated to connecting Canadians to their military heritage, says reaction from veterans has been swift.

“They are incensed—and not just veterans—but Canadians as a whole, I think, find this kind of act despicable,” said Tom Leppard, president of Valour Canada. “These are the people that have defended our country and have a final resting place of honour, many of whom don’t have a final resting place—forever lost in the mud of Passchendaele —and are remembered on this monument.”

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Doug Vaessen / Global News

The statue held its place in the Veteran Honor Gardens since the dedication in 1991. It weighs around 200 kilograms and is worth tens of thousands of dollars. Police are looking for more than one suspect because of its size.

“The best hope if they take it to a scrap metal dealer and they see it and say, ‘Something is up here,’” said McGowan. “It’s a very interesting monument, so perhaps somebody wants it for their yard. We just want it back.”

On the base, it reads: “This memorial is dedicated to peace and man’s search for it.”

Police are now searching in the hopes they’ll get it back. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers, Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234, or Constable Beierbach in District 4 at 403-428-6400.

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“It’s difficult for most of us to imagine you could do that and still look at yourself in the morning,” said Leppard.

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