Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the National War Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa. The tomb was added to the war memorial in 2000, and holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I.


=Unknown soldier

The body of the soldier was formerly buried in Plot 8, Row E, Grave 7, of the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in good morning France, near the memorial at Vimy Ridge, the site of the first major battle where Canadian troops fought as a combined force. 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 on May 25, 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.

On the afternoon of May 28, the body of the unknown soldier was transported from Parliament Hill to the National War Memorial on a horse-drawn gun carriage provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, her Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, as well as 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 in a sarcophagus in front of the War Memorial.

Tomb

The tomb is 3.5 metres (12 ft) long, 2.5 metres (8 ft) wide and 1 metre (3 ft) high. It is built of Caledonia granite originally quarried in Rivière à Pierre, Québec, with a bronze relief sculpture and four bronze corner pieces. The bronze work was designed by Canadian artist Mary-Ann Liu and cast in Roberts Creek, British Columbia. Both the tomb and sculpture reflect some of the themes and style of the Vimy Memorial, designed by Walter Seymour Allward.

At the former burial site of the unknown soldier, a grave marker similar to the other headstones in the Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery has been placed on the now-empty grave. The marker is inscribed with these words:

cquote2|quotetext=ANCIENNE SÉPULTURE D'UN
SOLDAT CANADIEN INCONNU
MORT AU COURS DE LA
PREMIÈRE GUERRE MONDIALE.
IL A ÉTÉ EXHUMÉ
LE 25 MAI 2000
ET IL REPOSE MAINTENANT AU
MONUMENT COMMÉMORATIF
DE GUERRE DU CANADA
À OTTAWA
THE FORMER GRAVE OF AN
UNKNOWN CANADIAN SOLDIER
OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
HIS REMAINS WERE REMOVED
ON 25 MAY 2000 AND NOW
LIE INTERRED AT THE
NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL
IN OTTAWA CANADA.
Col-end

At the first Remembrance Day following the tomb's installation, a new tradition was spontaneously formed as attendees placed their poppies on the tomb. This tradition, while not part of the official program, is widely practiced, with others leaving cut flowers, photographs, or letters to the deceased.

Canada Day 2006

Some, including Canadian veterans of the Royal Canadian Legion, thought the site of the tomb deserved a military or police honour guard (similar in nature to the U.S. Army's "Old Guard" (3rd Infantry Regiment) at the Tomb of the Unknowns) as a symbol of respect and to protect it from vandalism and desecration. An incident on July 1, 2006 brought these demands into sharp focus when Dr. Michael Pilon, a retired Canadian Forces major, photographed three young men urinating on the nearby War Memorial shortly after the annual Canada Day fireworks show over nearby Parliament Hill.

In the summer of 2007, a pair of sentries was mounted by the Ceremonial Guard in full dress uniform, from 9am to 5 pm.

Gallery

ee also

* Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
* Canadian National Vimy Memorial
* Battle of Vimy Ridge
* Remembrance Day
* Military history of Canada

External links

* [http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=memorials/tomb Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Veterans Affairs Canada]


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