Thursday, September 10, 2009

Confederation Square ~ National War Memorial ~ Unknown Soldier ~ Valiants Memorial

Our visit to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital city was not long enough to see all that there is to see. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we decided to use our time there seeing as much as we could that was accessible outside. There are guided walking tours available, which are a great way to learn all about what you’re seeing, and it makes the visit so much more interesting. I would recommend one, especially for a city like Ottawa that has so much history to offer within an easy walking tour.

The National War Memorial ~ Confederation Square

The National War Memorial was originally built to honor those Canadians who died during WWI but now honors all of Canada’s war dead. The great arch features 23 figures representing people who fought in WWI and shows them moving from war into peace representing Peace & Liberty. This is also the site of the November 11 Remembrance Day ceremony which is broadcast across Canada.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ~ Ottawa, Ontario

Directly in front of the War Memorial lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was created to honor the Canadians who die for their country. It doesn’t matter whether they are in the army, navy, air force, or merchant marine, it honors all soldiers from the past, present and future.
The unidentified soldier was selected from a cemetery in Vimy Ridge and brought over to Canada. The soldier was then transported on a horse-drawn gun carriage and laid to rest in a specially designed sarcophagus in front of the War Memorial during a special ceremony in March 2000. The Tomb is a fitting way to honor the sacrifices made to build our freedom.

Valiants Memorial ~ Confederation Square
The National War Memorial sits at the intersection of Wellington & Elgin streets in Confederation Square near Parliament Hill and is lined with historical figures and busts that represent individuals who also served Canada during the wars. This area is call the Valiants Memorial.
Terry Fox ~ Ottawa, Ontario
Terry Fox is also a Canadian hero and has been honored with a statue designed by John Hooper in the square opposite the Parliament Buildings. He was honored many times in his young lifetime and so many times since. The Government of Canada made him a Companion of the Order of Canada, which made him the youngest to receive it.  His Marathon of Hope was described as “one of the most powerful outpourings of emotion and generosity in Canada’s history”. There is more to see about Terry Fox on another page I have posted.

Ottawa, Ontario has much to offer for several days of sightseeing. There are boat tours on the waterways that will take you on a wonderful ride to enjoy the quiet side of the city.  Next I will take you with us on our boat tour on the Rideau Canal.


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