National Wall of Remembrance
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Sometimes dreams do come true. Sometimes solemn promises are kept. The National Wall of Remembrance Association (NWORA) is thus delighted to report that its dream of establishing in Kingston a national monument to Canada’s fallen is about to come true. And its promise to put a “shovel in the ground” by Remembrance Day 2011 will be kept. For the NWORA has signed a memorandum of understanding with Canadian Forces Base Kingston’s Military Communications and Electronics Museum, one of Canada’s top military museums. After considering several Kingston locations over the past year and receiving the support of the local military community, the Association has decided that its virtual, interactive national archive will be established at this splendid site at 95 Craftsman Blvd, Vimy Barracks.

This self-funding project will create a single place of remembrance for all of Canada’s fallen heroes — a facility that families, friends and the people of Canada will want to visit. The National Wall of Remembrance will honour those who fell in all conflicts of record, starting with the earliest. It will not, however, seek to replace local cenotaphs and memorials as a sacred place.

Using 21st century technology, the installation will be of particular interest to schools. It will have two components: a seies of panels portraying the various conflicts and a digital “wall” with a “search” function. A screen presentation of the name of each fallen hero together with biographies, photos and clippings will be augmented from time to time as new material comes to light. Remembrance Magazine, distributed across the country and focusing on the various conflicts with reviews, memoirs, stories, verse and memorials of those who served or fell for Canada, will be vital to the project.

The right location for the installation is crucial. The NWORA believes that Kingston, Ontario is the right place. Under the French regime, in 1673 Cataraqui became a defended trading post consisting almost entirely of Fort Frontenac and its garrison. In 1758 this fell into British hands. In 1783 it became the “King’s Town” and the focal point of British Empire Loyalist settlement. The fort has had a military function ever since, first as Tete de Pont Barracks, home of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and then of the Canadian Army Staff College and its Canadian Forces successors.

Planned in l874,the Royal Military College opened in 1876 on the site of the earliest Canadian civil-marine and naval stations. HMCS Cataraqui, one of Canada’s leading naval reserve units, carries on that fine tradition today. Fort Henry with its associated Martello towers was built as part of Canada’s defences in the 1830s on the site of an earlier wooden fort and is today one of the country’s outstanding tourist attractions.

(From a press release — photos by Gananoque Today)

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