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War & Sacrifice

Lord Tweedsmuir Unveils the Cenotaph, Edmonton, Alberta, 1936.
City of Edmonton Archives (EA-29-4).

Lord Tweedsmuir Unveils the Cenotaph, Edmonton, Alberta, 1936.

Various dignitaries, soldiers, war veterans, and thousands of spectators attend as the Governor General presides over the unveiling of the Cenotaph. Symbolic of the sacrifices made by thousands of Canadian soldiers, the monument is a lasting reminder of the cost of freedom.

The urge for Canadians to commemorate the magnificent achievements of their soldiers was particularly strong in the months immediately following the 11 November 1918 armistice. Many Canadians, however, had difficulty comprehending the price that the combatants and their families had paid for final victory. Clearly, the scars of war would remain with the returning veterans long after their wounds had healed and the nation had turned to the dynamic era of the 1920s. For the families of the veterans who did not return, no sense of pride could ever replace the life of a loved one. For the families of those who did return, no effort could recover the years lost to war, and no effort -- no amount of love -- would enable them completely to understand what had happened to their loved ones during the war.

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