Parliament Hill - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Ottawa
The National War Memorial on Confederation Square is the federal memorial for all those who died in WW1, WW2 and the Korean war. The Response was unveiled in 1939. 22 figures are on the monument, they move through the arch - from war and into peace. The winged angel on top of the monument represents peace and liberty.
In front of the National War Memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown soldier which was added to the Memorial in 2000. It represents 28.000 Canadian soldiers who never returned home and were never given a formal grave. An unknown Canadian soldier, who was killed in WW1, was exhumed from a cemetary in France and given a grave at the National War Memorial.
On this square people gather around on Remembrance Day, November 11. Veterans march and wreaths are put here and there is 2 minutes of silence in respect for those who didn´t return back home.
It is quite an impressive square and I hope that people treat it with respect. I saw a sign by the tomb to ask people to treat it with respect, but there should be no need for a sign like that, but I guess some people forget the meaning behind it and have not treated it with respect, maybe. Now I was reading up on this and it appears that a group of men urinated on the tomb on Canada day :(
Canada is a country that built its reputation through war. To me, the National War Memorial is the centre of the city. While the city gets on with the running of the government, this beautiful monument reminds all the politicians and bureaucrats exactly why they're there.
Ironically unveiled in 1939, the War Memorial is dedicated to all 116,000 of Canada's war dead. The dates on the base commemorate the First World War (the original purpose for the monument), The Second World War and the Korean War. The beautiful momument consists of bronze figures from the First World War with the figures of Peace and Freedom on top.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a recent addition. In 2000, an unidentified soldiers was moved from his Commonwealth War grave in France and reburied at the feet of the National War Memorial. Please keep in mind that this is a grave. Don't sit, stand, jump or skip on it. Try to be respectful!
During the summer, a ceremonial guard from the GG's Footguard, or, sometimes, another Canadian regiment, stands at either side of the tomb.
I think that all parties to the First and Second World Wars have a memorial to the Unknown Soldier, and Canada's is fairly prominently displayed in the centre of Ottawa, right near the bridge that connects the financial and government core with the shopping centres east of the Rideau Canal and the Byward Market. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is not the sort of monument that draws throngs of tourists (unless you come to Ottawa on a special occasion, like 11 November), but it should. No, I'm not writing about all Canadians' civic duty or a sense of gratitude that they should feel towards the country's Armed Forces, I mean that the Tomb itself is quite spectacular for the intricate ironwork and incredibly detailed sculpture that depicts the brave men (sorry, but it pre-dates the inclusion of women in the Armed Forces) who fought in the many wars in which Canada has been involved. Indeed, I suggest visiting the Tomb on a day when no one else is around, as it allows you to get up close to the main sculpture and really inspect and admire the detail and expressive nature of the faces and uniforms of the soldiers.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains the remains of a Canadian soldier from World War One. It commemorates the sacrifice that all Canadian soldiers have made through the years and is a focal point for Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11.
The body of the soldier was formerly buried near the memorial at Vimy Ridge, Pas-de-Calais, France, the site of the first major battle where Canadian troops fought as a combined force. More specifically, the soldier was at the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez, in Plot 8, Row E, Grave 7, only a couple of kilometers from the Vimy Memorial. At the request of the Canadian government, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission selected one of the 1,603 graves of unknown Canadians buried in the vicinity of Vimy Ridge.
The remains of the soldier were exhumed on the morning of May 16, 2000 and the casket was flown in a Canadian Forces aircraft to Ottawa accompanied by an honour guard which included a chaplain, Royal Canadian Legion veterans, and representatives of Canadian youth. In Ottawa, the unknown soldier lay in state for three days.
The body of the unknown soldier was then transported from Parliament Hill to the National War Memorial on a horse-drawn gun carriage provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Governor General of Canada, the Prime Minister of Canada, veterans, Canadian Forces personnel, and members of the RCMP were in the funeral procession. Then, with appropriate ceremony, the body of the unknown soldier was re-interred.
The tomb is located directly in front of the National War Memorial.
On May 16, 2000 the remains were exhumed from his grave near Vimy Ridge and on May 25, 2000, the remains of an unknown soldier were were flown to Ottawa where he layed in state for 3 days. On May 28th, the remains were interred in the granite tomb in front of the National War Memorial.
"From that point on, the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier will become a focal point of commemoration for all memorial events at the National War Memorial. It will be a memorial in Canada for Canadians. The Tomb will be a fitting way to honour the sacrifices on which our freedoms were built. "
This photo was taken after the Remembrance Day ceremony, November 11, 2004 as people placed their poppies upon the tomb.
Go see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The body of a soldier that died in the war. He/She was never identified. Usually the remembrance day ceremonies in Ottawa focus around this structure.