Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

June 16, 2011 16:22 ET

Popular Guide and Sentry Programs Return to National War Memorial

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 16, 2011) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Marie Lemay, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission (NCC), are pleased to announce the return of guides and sentries to the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the summer.

"The National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are powerful national symbols of Canada's sacrifice in the defence of peace, freedom and democracy around the world," said Minister Blaney. "The arrival of the guides and sentries each summer adds to the stature of this sacred national site and fosters greater awareness of our nation's proud tradition of courageous service."

"The National War Memorial is a symbol to all those who have been lost, to all who have suffered in battles past, and to all who have served and continue to serve this great country whenever Canadians find themselves in need," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "The Canadian Forces are Canada's greatest sons and daughters and I'm proud that members of our Primary Reserve will connect Canada's glorious military history with those who serve and sacrifice today."

The guides are part of the NCC's summer programs that also take place on Parliament Hill and along Confederation Boulevard. Visitors can learn more about the history, symbolism and importance of the National War Memorial and other monuments by speaking with the NCC interpreters stationed at Confederation Square throughout the summer. Two guides will be on site seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from June 17 to September 5, 2011. There is also an innovative mobile exhibit which includes historical photos and personal wartime stories, designed to engage visitors and enhance their experience.

"Canada's Capital Region serves as a window on our country, where residents and visitors can discover the history, culture and accomplishments of our great nation," said Marie Lemay, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. "We are pleased that through this partnership between the National Capital Commission and Veterans Affairs Canada we continue to enrich the experience for all those who visit this important site."

The ceremonial sentries will return to the National War Memorial on June 27 and remain until August 26, 2011.

Measures are in place to ensure the integrity of the site including year-round electronic surveillance, additional security patrols during the tourist season and increased guard presence and crowd-control equipment at the site during Canada Day and other special events.

Canadians are also reminded that should they wish to conduct a commemorative event or ceremony at the National War Memorial site, they should contact Veterans Affairs Canada.

For more information on the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, please visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.veterans.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Manager
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    613-992-7468

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    613-996-4649

    Denise LeBlanc
    NCC Media Relations
    613-239-5750 (office)
    613-851-9465 (cellular)
    denise.leblanc@ncc-ccn.ca