Recently, there have been articles in the news about government funding for national war memorials. Honouring and remembering Canada’s Fallen Veterans is a large part the Legion’s mission, and has been one of our principal objectives since our inception. The Royal Canadian Legion is monitoring this issue closely.
Canadians are fiercely proud of our Veterans, and it is understandable that the topic of memorials and cenotaphs can be near and dear to many of our hearts. So why are these memorials so important to Canadians? 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. They remind us of the sacrifices Veterans made for our country and for the peace and freedoms we have today.
War memorials do not glorify war. They are not about portraying political views of the past or the divisive lines between nations. They are not about showcasing military achievements or engagements. War memorials are important symbols of Canada’s commitment to remembering the sacrifices and losses of the men and women who served our nation. They are a focal point for Remembrance ceremonies and commemorations to express gratitude, sorrow, loss, and reflection. They provide a place to honour our Fallen, those beloved family members, friends and comrades who served and sacrificed for peace. 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.
Lest we forget.