With today marking the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, I thought it worth sharing this photo I took back in 2014 in Ottawa of the Canadian National War Memorial and before it flanked by two sentries, the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The sentries do 1 hour watches from 9am-5pm and are from the Canadian Ceremonial Guard, the same unit that provides personnel for the Changing of the Guard at the Canadian Parliament (you can see part of the Parliament building on the left side of my photo). The Ceremonial Guard are from the different branches of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The remains of the Unknown Soldier are from the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France during the First World War- Vimy Ridge is of significant historial significance for Canada as it was the first time four Canadian Army divisions made up of troops from all over Canada, fought successfully as a cohesive formation. From a military standpoint, the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge is sort of watershed moment for Canada's arrival on the world stage.
Since Vimy Ridge, as a nation, Canada punches well above their fighting weight, so to speak. During the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, one of the five beaches assaulted was the responsibility of the Canadian Army- Juno Beach. Utah and Omaha Beaches were assigned to the US Army, Gold and Sword Beaches were assigned to the British Army. At the end of the Second World War, of the victorious Allied powers, the Canadians had the fourth largest armed forces in the world after the United States, Soviet Union, and Great Britain.
On Veterans Day, it's important to commemorate not just the sacrifice and achievements of the US armed services in history, but also that of allied nations like Canada that have fought alongside our forces towards common goals. Since the Battle of Vimy Ridge, over 115,000 Canadians have given their lives in battle, many in battles alongside American forces.
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