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The service will honour the African American Army Engineers who helped to build the Alcan Highway during World War II. When the 95th black regiment reached Dawson Creek in 1942, they worked on the section of the Alcan Highway between Fort St John and Fort Nelson.
At the Sikanni Chief River, the regiment bet that they could build the bridge at Mile 162 in record time, offering their paychecks as the wager. They were successful, taking only 84 hours to build the original Sikanni bridge, which was half the usual time. The building of the Sikanni Chief River Bridge was the crowning achievement of these African American Army Engineers.
In addition to the building of the bridge, African Americans were also instrumental in building the Alcan Highway, despite only being supplied with wheel barrows and shovels, and being unfamiliar with the winter conditions. Although faced with incredible segregation, bigotry and racial discrimination, they built respect, and played a significant role in ending segregation in the US military in 1947.
The memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. May 26, at the Charlie Lake Memorial at Mile 52. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
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