Memorials and cenotaphs

To promote Remembrance, The Royal Canadian Legion erects and maintains war memorials and cenotaphs across Canada, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Memorials and cenotaphs serve as gathering places for ceremonies on Remembrance Day, and for other Remembrance milestones throughout the year. They are important symbols of our commitment to honouring and remembering the sacrifices of our Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, peacekeepers, as well as their families and communities. Unlike monuments, which are structures that pay tribute to the achievements, heritage, or ideals of a person, group, event or time in history, war memorials and cenotaphs are built to honour and remember those killed in conflicts. War memorials help us to never forget.

The Legion is dedicated to ensuring Canadians have opportunities to remember Canada’s Fallen Veterans. Whether on a national scale such as the National War Memorial, or locally through community memorials and cenotaphs, Legion members work tirelessly to advocate for, fundraise and coordinate the building and maintenance of memorials and cenotaphs to ensure their community has a place where people can gather to remember our Fallen heroes. We encourage all Canadians to visit their local war memorial or cenotaph and take a moment to pause, to reflect, to thank and to Remember.

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

In the spring of 1998, the Legion led the initiative to establish the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This very special and solemn monument at the National War Memorial in Ottawa was completed in May 2000 and contains the remains of an unknown soldier from the battle of Vimy Ridge during World War I. The remains were retrieved from the Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery in France and brought to Canada for interment at the monument. The Tomb honours all of the fallen from any branch of the forces. It also symbolizes a resting place in Canada for all those who were not recovered or identified, and rest in foreign lands or beneath the sea.

The Tomb is adorned with a bronze sword, a World War I helmet, and branches of maple and laurel leaves.

 

Search for a memorial in your area: National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials