Your online Remembrance Day tour of Parliament starts here, in the Rotunda, which is the formal entrance to Centre Block.
Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. We honour those who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then. More than 2.3 million Canadians have served our country in this way, and more than 118,000 have died. They gave their lives and their futures so that we may live in peace.
2014 marks a number of significant anniversaries and milestones in our country's military heritage, including the following: 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of the First World War, 75th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Second World War, 70th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign, 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, 50th Anniversary of Canadian Peacekeeping in Cyprus, 40th Anniversary of the Deaths of Nine Canadian Peacekeepers in the Middle East, and the end of Canada's Military Mission in Afghanistan and the Rededication of the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
From the Rotunda we turn left and head down the hall to the foyer of the House of Commons where we find a memorial to a former MP, George Baker. Born in Quebec in 1877, Baker was elected to the House of Commons in 1911. When the First World War broke out, the lawyer was the Member of Parliament for the riding of Brome. He enlisted in May 1915 and served on the front lines with the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles. He was killed in action at Ypres, Belgium, in June 1916. Baker was the only parliamentarian to die in action in the war.
Hanging above the north door of the Railway Committee Room is a painting called, "The Ghosts of Vimy Ridge". A distant Vimy Ridge monument, which was still under construction when the painting was produced, is shown at night with spectres in uniform moving back toward the Canadian lines. The work was painted sometime prior to November 1930 and purchased by Capt. John Arthur Dewar, an Englishman, who donated it to the Canadian Government. The painting was accepted by the Prime Minister on behalf of Parliament and subsequently installed in the Railway Committee Room in February 1932. It serves as an important reminder of the sacrifices made by Canadians to preserve our democracy and Parliamentary institutions.
The Nursing Sisters' Memorial is located in the Hall of Honour near the Library of Parliament. Sculpted by Mr. G.W. Hill, the panel was mounted in the Hall of Honour during the summer of 1926.
The sculpture embraces the history of the nurses of Canada from the earliest days to the First World War. The right-hand side represents the contribution made by the religious sisters who came to Canada from France during l'ancien régime, and depicts a sister nursing a sick Indian child while an Iroquois warrior looks on suspiciously. To the left a group of two nursing sisters in uniform tending a wounded soldier symbolizes the courage and self-sacrifice of the Canadian nurses who served in the war. In the centre stands the draped figure of "Humanity" with outstretched arms. In her left hand she holds the caduceus, the emblem of healing; with the other hand she indicates the courage and devotion of nurses through the ages. In the background, "History" holds the book of records containing the deeds of heroism and sacrifice of Canadian nurses through almost three centuries of faithful service.
Eight magnificent paintings depicting different war scenes have adorned the walls of the Senate Chamber for over 80 years. Originally, these paintings were part of a collection from the Canadian War Memorials Fund that Lord Beaverbrook, the Canadian-born Max Aitken, had planned as a testimonial and tribute to the heroism and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers during the First World War.
The entire series of almost 1,000 works was originally to be housed in a commemorative art gallery and war memorial building in Ottawa, but the project was never realized. After successful exhibitions in London, New York, Toronto and Montreal, the paintings were stored at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Early in 1921, Parliament requested a loan of a number of oil paintings from the Canadian War Memorials Fund to be temporarily displayed in the Centre Block. In February of that year, the paintings were delivered to the Senate.
Located inside the Peace Tower, the Memorial Chamber was dedicated to the memory of Canadians who have died in military service. The Chamber is a beautifully crafted room with a vaulted ceiling, stained glass windows and intricate carvings depicting Canada's record of war. The centerpiece of the Chamber is the main altar for the First World War Book of Remembrance. The steps on which the altar rests are made of stone quarried from Flanders Fields. The flagstones used in the Memorial Chamber were carefully collected from various battlefields in France and Belgium by the Canadian defence staff posted in Flanders. Eight brass plates were inlaid with the names of the main battles in which Canadian forces participated: Ypres, Mount Sorrel, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Valenciennes, and Mons.
Upon the altar is a glass-topped case of finely tooled brass with small statuettes of angels kneeling at each corner. Within this case rests the First World War Book of Remembrance, set on a special balancing lectern so that the pages are always level and easily readable through the protective glass. The remaining six books are displayed, resting on their respective altars around the room. The Second World War Book of Remembrance is positioned against the southern wall.
Although not officially designated as a war memorial, the Peace Tower carries great significance for Remembrance Day. Completed in 1927, the Peace Tower was named in commemoration of Canada's commitment to peace. The observation area offers spectacular views of Ottawa and Gatineau.
The Centre Block is home to many different memorials that commemorate Canadian veterans. Because the building was constructed between 1916 and 1922, many of these memorials understandably relate to the First World War (1914-1918). However, the Memorial to the War of 1812 is a unique commemoration that remains almost unnoticed. Installed in the original Parliament Buildings, it survived the fire of 1916 and was reinstalled in the Centre Block in the 1920s.
The Memorial to the Heroes of the War of 1812, as it is formally known, was commissioned by Lt.-Col. William Hamilton Merritt, in 1913. It was created to commemorate the centennial of the Anglo-American war, fought between 1812 and 1815, and the successful defense of British North America by the British, Canadian and First Nations' allies. Thirty-four battles are listed in chronological order on the plaque, including Queenston Heights, Chateauguay and Lundy's Lane. Merritt had a personal interest in the war because his grandfather and namesake had distinguished himself in a number of major actions. His grandfather was captured and interned by the Americans following the Battle of Lundy's Lane, in 1814.
The plaque can be found between the Reading Room and the Library of Parliament.
In 1927, stone carver Cléophas Soucy sculpted "The Tunnellers' Friends", designed by John A. Pearson. Found above the entrance to the Memorial Chamber, the sculpture commemorates the animals that served during the war: reindeer, pack mules, carrier pigeons, horses, dogs, canaries and mice. The inscription on the sculpture reads: THE TUNNELLERS' FRIENDS, THE HUMBLE BEASTS THAT SERVED AND DIED.
Source: Parliament of Canada
The National War Memorial was officially unveiled by His Majesty King George VI on May 21, 1939, to commemorate the response of Canadians in the First World War. It has, however, over the years, come to symbolize the sacrifice of all Canadians who have served Canada in time of war in the cause of peace and freedom.
This memorial, does more than commemorate a great event in the past, however. It has a message for all generations and for all countries - the message which called for Canada's response. Not by chance both the crowning figures of peace and freedom appear side by side. Peace and freedom cannot long be separated. It is well that we have, in one of the world capitals, a visible reminder of so great a truth. Without freedom there can be no enduring peace, and without peace no enduring freedom.
Source: Veterans Affairs Canada
The monument seen here in Google Street View was was raised in honour of the contributions of all Aboriginal Canadians in war and peacekeeping operations.
Many thousands of Aboriginal people saw action and endured hardship in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. They served with honour and distinction in all branches of the service and in every rank and appointment from Private to Brigadier. They fought overseas to defend the sovereignty and liberty of allied nations, in addition to supporting the cause at home. Their dedication continues in peacekeeping operations in faraway lands.
Canadian Native Veterans have reason to be proud of their wartime contributions. More than 7,000 Indians served in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War, and an unknown number of Inuit, Métis and non-status Indians also participated. One Aboriginal Veterans group estimates that 12,000 Natives served in the three wars. On each occasion, Aboriginal members of the armed forces soldiers overcame cultural challenges and made impressive sacrifices and contributions to help the nation in its efforts to restore world peace. It was an incredible response - consistent with a remarkable tradition.
More Information:Veterans Affairs Canada
The twin buildings to the left and the right are located on Wellington Street in Ottawa. They overlook the Ottawa River and Quebec's Gatineau Hills. Their architecture, in particular their chateau style, copper roofs and stone facing, is in keeping with the Parliament Buildings, the old stone churches and other federal buildings in the vicinity. The architects were Messieurs Allward and Gouinlock. Work on the East Memorial Building began in 1949 and was completed in 1956. The West Memorial Building was completed in l962.
Construction of the two edifices, originally called "Veterans Memorial Buildings", began following the Second World War. In addition to honouring those who served and those who died in that war, the buildings would also house, under one roof, the employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the associated Agencies, who initially were housed in several locations in Ottawa. The Memorial Arch which connects the East and West Memorial Buildings, as they are now called, spans Lyon Street and bears the following inscription, taken from Ecclesiasticus:
ALL THESE WERE HONOURED IN THEIR GENERATIONS AND WERE THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES
Flowerbeds are maintained under the Arch and the area is illuminated at night. A marble relief sculpture, "The Canadian Phalanx", created by Ivan Mestvovic in honour of Canadian soldiers in the First World War, now stands under the Arch. The three and one-half tonne stone panel is almost three metres long and two metres high. The National Capital Region architect B.A. Topolski designed the relief's grey granite frame, reminiscent of the towering pylons of the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge.
Source: Veterans Affairs Canada
On the northeastern tip of Green Island, in front of Ottawa City Hall, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission erected this Memorial which was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on July 1, 1959. Although it is difficult to see from Google Street View, the memorial can be seen in the distance. It is in the form of a huge bronze globe and commemorates 809 men and women of the Commonwealth air forces who gave their lives in Canada, the United States and neighbouring lands and seas during the Second World War and have no known grave.
High above the Ottawa River and surrounded by lawns, this Memorial occupies an impressive site. It is a striking tribute to the missing dead. Those who see it will remember the achievements and sacrifices of airmen who operated from North American bases and did not return.
Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.
This special monument was erected on Confederation Boulevard in Ottawa and commemorates Canada's role in international peacekeeping and the soldiers, both living and dead, who have participated or are currently participating in peacekeeping operations. Since 1947, Canadian peacekeepers have served overseas in a variety of United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and other multinational task forces. Canada played a leading role in the peacekeeping movement from the outset. In fact, a Canadian, Lester B. Pearson, won the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering vision in helping establish a United Nations force during the Suez Crisis of the 1950s. Since then, Canada's commitment to international peace efforts and other overseas military actions has continued.
The monument depicts three peacekeepers - two men and a woman - standing on two sharp, knifelike edges of stone, cutting through the rubble and debris of war and converging at a high point, which symbolizes the resolution of conflict. The inscription on the monument is a quote from Lester B. Pearson: "We need action not only to end the fighting but to make the peace... My own government would be glad to recommend Canadian participation in such a United Nations force, a truly international peace and police force." (Lester B. Pearson, November 2, 1956)
Sources: Veterans Affairs Canada
This is a special online tour, which highlights the many war memorials in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. Centre Block is home to many different memorials which commemorate Canadian veterans and those who served our country in war time. Click on the "Take the Tour" tab above to get started, and take time to remember.
You can also view war memorials in the Ottawa area by clicking on "See More". These memorials are those which can be found in the Ottawa area, but are not on Parliament Hill.
Built on Google's Street View technology, you can use the Street View arrows in the center of the page to navigate on your own at any time. The small map on the bottom right indicates where you are and what direction you are facing.
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To access the regular online tour of Parliament, click here.
We will remember.
David Anderson, MP
Cypress Hills - Grasslands
Take the Remembrance Day tour of Parliament, which hilights the many war memorials in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. The Centre Block building on Parliament Hill is home to many different memorials that commemorate Canadian veterans and those who served our country in war time. You can use the Street View arrows in the center of the page to navigate on your own at any time. The small map on the bottom right indicates where you are and what direction you are facing.
There are many war memorials in Ottawa that are not found on Parliament Hill. Click on the following links to explore a few of these. You can use the Street View arrows in the center of the page to navigate on your own at any time. The small map on the bottom right indicates where you are and what direction you are facing.
2014 marks a number of significant anniversaries and milestones in our country's military heritage. Such occasions are commemorated to ensure the sacrifices and achievements of those who served in times of war, military conflict and in peace support operations are recognized within the social context of the personal freedoms enjoyed by all Canadians in today's society.
- 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of the
First World War
- 75th Anniversary of the Beginning of the
Second World War
- 70th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign
- 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the
Battle of Normandy
- 50th Anniversary of Canadian Peacekeeping
- 40th Anniversary of the Deaths of Nine
Canadian Peacekeepers in the Middle East
- End of Canada's Military Mission in
Afghanistan and the Rededication of the
National War Memorial in Ottawa
Source: Veterans Affairs Canada