Antonio Boneca was surprised to see so many people attend the dedication of a monument honouring the lives of three local soldiers killed in Afghanistan seven years ago.
Boneca's son Cpl. Anthony Boneca as well as Pte. Robert Costall and Pte. Josh Klukie were memorialized Saturday morning in a ceremony at Waverley Park.
"It was beautiful," an emotional Boneca said after the dedication that saw hundreds of people come to the park.
"I never expected so many people," he said.
Anthony Boneca was killed on July 9, 2006, when he was 21 years old. He had been in the reserves for four years with the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment.
Klukie was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment and was just 23 when he was killed on Sept. 29, 2006.
Costall died on March 26, 2006, the victim of a friendly-fire-incident involving a U.S. soldier, while under a Taliban attack trying to defend an army base in Afghanistan.
The monument sits at the southwest corner of the park and Thunder Bay Military History Society chairman Ken MacAskill said it may be a small monument but it's a significant one.
"It reflects on three lives," he said. "Three lives we lost who would have been otherwise forgotten in the swing (of things)."
MacAskill was pleased to see the large turnout for the dedication and was especially pleased to see many parents bring their children.
He said all the schools used to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies in Waverley Park at the cenotaph.
"This place was loaded on Remembrance Day. I'd like to see more of that and more of the children getting to know what it's all about," he said.