The Response, National War Memorial

Photo of a granite arch with bronze figures under and on top of the arch. The Parliament buildings are seen in the background.
The Response, National War Memorial

The National War Memorial is a tribute to Canadians who have served in times of war. It stands in Confederation Square, in the heart of downtown Ottawa.

Surmounting this immense granite arch are bronze figures which represent Peace and Freedom. Under the arch, 22 figures represent the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who fought in the First World War.

Over the years, the memorial has come to symbolize the sacrifice of all Canadians who have served their country in times of war. In May 1982, the memorial was rededicated to all who have served. The dates 1939–1945 and 1950–1953 were added to represent the Second World War and the Korean War.

Each year, on November 11, to mark Remembrance Day, Canada’s veterans march past the National War Memorial. Wreaths of flowers are laid, and everyone in attendance observes two minutes of silence to honour the memory of Canadians who fought and died in conflicts.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies in front of the memorial. It was unveiled in a solemn ceremony, held on May 28, 2000. It serves to remind all Canadians of the human cost of our country’s commitment to peace and freedom.

The National War Memorial, built between 1926 and 1932, is the work of Vernon March. It was unveiled by His Majesty King George VI in May 1939.

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