The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located at the National War Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa, was added to the war memorial in 2000, and holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I.

The unidentified soldier was selected from a cemetery in the vicinity of Vimy Ridge, the site of a famous Canadian battle of the First World War. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was created to honour the Canadians whether they be navy, army, air force or merchant marine, who died or may die for their country in all conflicts - past, present, and future.

Of course today is Remembrance Day in Canada as well as most other Commonwealth Countries. Remembrance Day was first held throughout the Commonwealth in 1919 at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It marked the time (in the United Kingdom) when the German armistice became effective one year prior. It has been observed ever since to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the military and civilians alike in times of war.

In Canada 110,000 combatants in the two world wars made the ultimate sacrifice and for the past ten years soldiers have continued to make that sacrifice in Afghanistan.

We wear a poppy proudly over our hearts as symbolized by the poppies that bloomed across the battlefields of Flanders in World War I, a vivid visualization made clear in Canadian military physician John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields. This heart moving piece continues to stir us to always remember those who served, but never returned. May we never forget these brave men and women...



In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.                          


                            By John McCrae (1914)

                            Military Physician