The Arnprior Cenotaph, located outside the Arnprior Regional Hospital on John St. N, stands in remembrance of those men who fought and died during the First World War, Second World War and Korean War. It was erected in 1952, and then later altered and restored in 1998.
Though many names were also inscribed in local halls, churches, books of remembrance and on honour rolls at local businesses, an editorial for the Arnprior Chronicle on 29 November 1951 by B. V. Bedore echoed wider public sentiment when he called for the construction of a memorial all could see. Soon after, the Arnprior Branch of the Canadian Legion formed the Cenotaph Committee.
Made up of several veterans of both the First and Second World Wars, the Cenotaph Committee was chaired by J. J. Greene, and also received the support of Mayor Robert Simpson, regional Women's Institutes and local residents. The committee set out to collect the names and necessary funding for a cenotaph, as well as to secure a location for the construction of the memorial.
The Cenotaph was finished just in time for Remembrance Day in 1952. The following year, it was officially unveiled and dedicated by the Honourable Brooke Claxton, then Minister of National Defence. The name of Desmond Trudeau, who died in Japan fighting in the Korean War in 1953, was then added.
By the late 1990s, the Cenotaph was in need of restoration. The Arnprior Legion once again formed a committee to fix a large crack in the base and to have installed a new granite slab over the deteriorated limestone face.
Work to collect the names was the most painstaking of tasks for both the 1952 and 1998 committees. In 1998, with assistance from volunteers of the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives, several new names were added and others corrected from the original 1952 list.
No, I shall not forget my brother, nor will you forget yours. But you may forget mine and I yours. We may forget the fellow who lived across the street or the buddy who went out and didn't get back... The phantom line is long and long to recall it... Arnprior will have her cenoptah, her symbol of remembrance, which will say to her citizens and all who pass 'Lest we forget'.
- B. V. Bedore, The Arnprior Chronicle, 1951-11-29