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 HQ Batallón) September 24, 2014

Seventy-four years ago, hundreds of soldiers marched down the streets of New Westminster, B.C., towards a waiting train.

As families said goodbye to loved ones, a little boy broke away from his mother and reached towards his father's outstretched hand.

The moment, captured by photographer Claude P. Dettloff, became an iconic Canadian image of the Second World War.

The white-haired boy in the photo, "Whitey" Bernard, will return to New Westminster Oct. 4 to unveil a new memorial -- a recreation of the photo sculpted in bronze.

"The picture isn't about me," said Bernard from his home in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

"It's about an event that took place and the emotions of families splitting up and guys going off to war and little boys' anxiety. It's all there."

Bernard said he doesn't remember the day the photo was taken, Oct. 1, 1940, but can clearly recall the excitement that came with seeing his photo in the paper and then "everywhere" as publications across North America picked it up.

He and his mother lived in Vancouver at the time, and Bernard remembers the challenges of finding secure housing with his father away.

"We battered around from pillar to post," he said.

The photo has gained new attention in recent years after it re-appeared in numerous "best of" photo collections.

Bernard said he's expecting a rush of emotion when he sees the memorial in person -- his parents' marriage did not survive the war and the image is the last one taken of his family together.

"We were never together again as a family," he said.


(Source: Jane Deacon - Claude P. Dettloff/Public Domain - http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/) Credits: CLAUDE P. DETTLOFF/PUBLIC DOMAIN

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