Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Today, April 9th, is a day to remember on both sides of the border. 150 years ago on this date, General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox, one of the closing chapters of the American Civil War. For Canadians, April 9th, 1917 marked the beginning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in the First World War. 

It seems appropriate to return to the National War Memorial today. The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier lies at its base, with Parliament Hill in the background. The Canadian soldier interred here fell at Vimy 98 years ago. Starting today, the Ceremonial Guard is due to take up their post at the Memorial through to November.


  1. Tombs of the unknowns seem to me like a sad commentary on the chaos and brutality of war. I'm glad they are honored but so sorry that lives are lost and unnamed.

  2. I agree with Kay.

    Is this where Nathan C was cowardly shot?

    ALOHA from Honolulu,

  3. I like the raised design of this feature near the memorial. It has presence.

  4. Honor the dead soldiers in combat.


  5. So many wars, so many lives lost. Sigh.

  6. it is interesting to see your area as an unknown tomb too. I like it very special or honorable that they do this to show respect for ones lost. ( :

  7. Kind of sad, with no name...

  8. I would not have known the significance of this date, so thank you for that. Looks to be a very nice memorial.

  9. I like its design with the 'unknown' missing.

  10. I didn't know that the guard began today.
    I hope many people visit to show their appreciation for those who fell, and those who stand guard.
    Jane x

  11. Very poignant and powerful.

  12. These memorials always make me stop to remember the horrors Our troops went through.

  13. That's a nice place and a fitting monument to honour those who fell for our freedom.

  14. @Kay: so often in war the bodies can't be identified. I find gravestones marked Known Unto God to be quite poignant.

    @Cloudia: yes, he fell right by the tomb, very close to where I was standing.

    @Bill: to me it's hallowed ground, particularly after the events of October 22nd.

    @Gemma: it was a fitting addition to the memorial.

    @Tomas: we must.

    @Revrunner: and the politicians who send them never learn.

    @Halcyon: I've always thought so.

    @VP: it accomplishes both.

    @Beth: I would enjoy a visit to the tomb at Arlington.

    @Karl: yes, but also a place of great honour.

    @Lowell: both dates are a bit of an area of speciality to me.

    @Birdman: it is a powerfully rendered design.

    @Jane and Chris: yes, they've changed it to the beginning of the Vimy anniversary to the day before Remembrance Day. It had run from late June through August in the past.

    @Linda: Indeed.

    @Red: I always stop here, even for a moment or two, when I'm passing by.

    @Jan: it is quite a solemn space.

  15. That's a very touching grave site.

  16. I'll echo some of the other comments: moving.

  17. I have been to the same one at Arlington. The way the honor guard stands, the changing of the guard, the absolute quiet, when you say hallow ground that is what it is.

    cheers, parsnip

  18. This is a moving post, something for us to ponder especially as Canada is becoming more involved in Iraq and Syria.

  19. War, war... never ending wars. Lovely post for today William!

  20. @Sharon: it has a lot of dignity to it.

    @Tex: very much so.

    @Norma: it certainly does that.

    @Parsnip: I would imagine aspects of the changing of guards is similar to what happens here.

    @EG: all thanks to a PM who believes he's right about everything.

    @Ciel: thank you!

    @Carolann: thanks!

  21. I think I heard on CBC that there would be police guards too.

  22. Very moving William, we should never forgot

  23. saw this on the news tonight. Still no bullets in the guns though.

  24. Poignant! Such a somber and sacred place.

  25. @RedPat: yes, there are always police on site now, either Ottawa Police or military.

    @Geoff: quite true.

    @Gill: the sentries do not, but there are officers on site with them when they're on duty, and they're armed.

    @Randy: it really is.

    @Pat: so do I.

    @Jennifer: thanks.

    @Denise: that it is.

    @Cheryl: I agree.

    @Whisk: a place of honour for him, even though we don't know his name.