The War Memorial, originally designed to commemorate Canadians who died in World War I, now honours all of Canada's war dead. Its bronze figures emerge from a great arch, symbolizing the sacrifices made in the journey from war to peace. You can also view the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the War Memorial.
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Did You Know?
- Although it was designed to commemorate those who died in the "war to end all wars," the Memorial was not unveiled until 1939, months before the Second World War began.
- King George VI unveiled the Memorial during his 1939 visit, the first time a reigning monarch had come to Canada.
- The dates commemorating the Second World War (1939-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953) were added in 1982.
Remembering Canadians in War
Every year on November 11, Canadians gather at memorials from coast to coast to remember those who died in wartime. The Capital hosts the National Remembrance Day ceremony, usually attended by the Governor General, the Prime Minister, veterans and the general public, and broadcast across Canada. The ceremony takes place at the National War Memorial, within view of Parliament Hill.
The War Memorial owes its prominent position to former Prime Minister Mackenzie King who insisted that Confederation Square be designed with the Memorial in the centre, despite the difficulties it posed for traffic circulation.
Designed by Vernon March, the Memorial features twenty-three bronze figures, representing people who fought in the First World War, emerging from an arch, moving from war into peace. Overhead, winged figures symbolize Peace and Liberty.
Location: Confederation Square, corner of Elgin and Wellington streets, Ottawa.
Contact: Janice Summerby (613) 992-7468, Pat Smith (613) 992-7470