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Alberta veteran honoured years later during ceremony at Beechmount Cemetery

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A Second World War veteran has received some long overdue recognition — 75 years in the making, to be exact.

Standing next to Albert Phelan’s gravestone at Beechmount Cemetery in Edmonton, his son, Brian Phelan, accepted the Canadian Efficiency Medal on his father’s behalf.

The medal is awarded for completing 12 years of service.

“Any honour he can be given now — it means a lot to me,” Phelan said following Wednesday’s ceremony.

“Brings me personally somewhat closer to my dad.”

Brian Phelan sits next to his father’s gravestone holding the Canadian Efficiency Medal.
Brian Phelan sits next to his father’s gravestone holding the Canadian Efficiency Medal. Nicole Stillger / Global News

Lance Bombadier Albert Phelan served with the Canadian Armed Forces from 1931-1945, but because of paperwork overlooked at the end of the Second World War, he never got the medal.

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“Another veteran is getting some honours and recognition they deserve,” Royal Canadian Legion Gibbons Branch president Darren Longstaff said.

“Thanks to the diligent efforts of a friend of the family’s — he did a lot of research and found he was actually entitled to the medal. He dealt with Ottawa back and forth for about a year and a half.”

Family, friends and dignitaries all joined the small ceremony.