The Gander Heritage Memorial Park in Canada recently unveiled two new statues: one to represent the men who served with the Royal Rifles.
The other, a tribute to Sergeant Gander, a Newfoundland dog and World War II hero.
Gander, initially a family pet named Pal, accidentally scratched a child’s face with his paw. The family was worried they’d be forced to euthanize Pal, so they gave the dog to The Royal Rifles of Canada, a regiment of the Canadian Army stationed at Gander International Airport. The soldiers renamed him Gander and “promoted” him to sergeant. When the unit was shipped to Hong Kong in the fall of 1941, Gander joined his fellow men.
The Battle of Hong Kong began the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 8, 1941. Gander helped fight the Japanese invaders by grabbing the grenades thrown by the Japanese, and tossing them out over the hill with his mouth. He died in action, killed by a grenade that exploded in his jaws when he was moving it away from the men fighting the battle.
The Park planning committee worked on the project for five years, and enlisted renowned artist Morgan MacDonald to sculpt the piece.
Not only is Gander remembered as a canine mascot, but also a hero who died for his country. See the incredible tribute below, and please SHARE this with your friends on Facebook!
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