National Sentry Program 2021 begins at the National War Memorial

News release

June 6, 2021 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, at 9 a.m., the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) posted sentries at the National War Memorial, marking the start of the 2021 National Sentry Program (NSP).

This year, the annual sentry program will run from June 6 to November 10, Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Posting sentries at the National War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier serves to reinforce Canada’s commitment to remember and honour Canadians who have contributed to our nation’s long-standing tradition of military excellence.


“The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier reminds us of the significant sacrifices by our Canadian Armed Forces. We thank all serving members, past and present, whose actions, at home and abroad, give us the enduring freedom we experience in our daily lives. Thank you to our City of Ottawa partners. They continue to work with us to provide the National Sentry Program in these challenging times. I encourage all Canadians to follow the posted safety measures while visiting the site and paying their respects to our fallen heroes.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“It is with great pride that we are able to carry out our National Sentry Program this year. We believe it is important for Canadians to be aware of the military accomplishments and sacrifices that have helped shape our nation, and have been central to Canada’s growth and prosperity. My deepest thanks to all the sentries who will perform this important duty on behalf of the CAF and Canadians.”

Major-General William Seymour, Acting Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command.

Quick facts

  • Established in 2007, the National Sentry Program reinforces public awareness that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in Ottawa at the National War Memorial, is to be treated with dignity and respect. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a significant symbol of tribute for sacrifices made by fallen CAF members.

  • The CAF decision to proceed with the National Sentry Program in 2021 was made in consultation with health agencies and the City of Ottawa. To limit any possible spread of COVID-19, members of the National Sentry Program will adhere to CAF and the government’s protective health measures. Visitors should always keep a minimum two-metre distance from the sentries.

Associated links


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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