The National War Memorial stands downtown, in the very heart of Confederation Square. I went down one day in October to photograph it. Fall colours were showing, and some of the grounds were fenced off for maintenance work.
For several years now there has been an honour guard during the days for months, between early April and the day before Remembrance Day. Because of Covid, they started later this year, but members of each branch of the armed forces stand guard here, changing hourly.
The Memorial was dedicated in 1939 by King George VI, in commemoration of those who served in the First World War. Over the years since, the Memorial has had further dates inscribed: for the Second World War, the Korean War, the South African War, and the Afghan War. This is a place of commemoration for the Canadian dead of all wars and military service.
At the base of the Memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a Canadian who fell at the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War. There were flowers at the Tomb on the morning I came here.
The Memorial, topped with allegorical figures representing peace and liberty, includes a series of servicemen and women representing each branch of the military as it existed in the Great War, including two horses. Each is larger than life.
I chose to come on the morning of October 22nd. This was the sixth anniversary of a tragedy that took place here. One of the guards, a corporal named Nathan Cirillo, was shot and killed by a madman while on duty here at the Memorial. A plaque commemorating him lies at the east side of the property. People had already started placing flowers.
Here we have views of the background of the Memorial.