Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Photo of a granite tomb with bronze overlay. The tomb contains the inscription “The Unknown Soldier”
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies in front of the National War Memorial. It contains the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who had been buried near Vimy Ridge in France — the site of a famous Canadian victory in the First World War.

The Unknown Soldier represents the approximately 116,000 Canadians who gave their lives for their country, including about 28,000 soldiers whose resting place is unknown.

On May 25, 2000, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission exhumed the remains of a soldier during a ceremony that took place at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. The remains were flown back to Canada in a Canadian Forces aircraft, and lay in state in the Parliament Buildings until the interment ceremony on May 28, 2000. Soil from each Canadian province and territory, as well as from France, was placed on the coffin.

The tomb is a sarcophagus made of granite from the Beauce region of Quebec. Its bronze overlay was created in 2000 by sculptor Mary-Ann Liu of Mission, British Columbia. The tomb’s only inscription reads “The Unknown Soldier” in English and “Le Soldat inconnu” in French. It is positioned directly in the line of sight of the foremost soldier advancing through the arch in the National War Memorial.

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