July 1 is Canada Day. The Peace Tower is the backdrop for festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. A real star is inside … the Memorial Chamber above the entrance. (The gothic window above the entrance arch marks the location of the chamber from the outside.) The chamber is only 24 feet square, and soars up 47 feet to a fan vaulted ceiling. The central Altar of Remembrance was featured in an earlier post. Today’s focus is on the elaborate stone carvings in two of the 17 niches around the room … scenes of war, badges and crests of various regiments, medals won by Canadians. So many that they were apparently not documented.
I prefer to visit the Memorial Chamber mid-week on a sunny winter day. Fewer visitors, serenity, more time to examine all the detail of the room. A virtual tour is the next best thing if you can’t visit in person.
July 1 also marks the 99th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. The day is Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador, marking the losses in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Commemorative ceremonies will take place on Wednesday morning at the Newfoundland National Memorial in St. John’s and at 8:30 am at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.