Remembering Kingston's fallen service men & women
Among the many public commemorations found in City of Kingston parks and buildings are special monuments erected to honour local men and women who served and died in past wars and other military conflicts.
These memorials take many forms. The grandest war monument in Kingston is City Hall's Memorial Hall chamber with its beautiful stained glass, bronze tablets, and illuminated book of remembrance. Other monuments honour Kingston's fallen who served in different branches of Canada's armed forces and theatres of battle.
The Memorial Wall at the Veterans Memorial Garden, 303 York St. (outside the Memorial Centre) is etched with 1,022 names of Kingstonians who died in service (south side of the wall). The north side of the wall features the Royal Canadian Legion's Ode of Remembrance: "For The Fallen."
The City of Kingston worked with veterans and the military community to complete the Wall – the central feature of the new Garden at the revitalized Memorial Centre. The engraved names are of men and women who called the Kingston area home through birth, residence or work, and who:
- died in service in the First or Second World Wars and are commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) or by the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM) or in the Ottawa Books of Remembrance
- died in service in the South African War, the Korean conflict, or the Middle East missions and are commemorated by the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM) or in the Ottawa Books of Remembrance
- died in service and are commemorated by their own countries
- were civilians who died in war-related activities during the First or Second World Wars.
Cross of Sacrifice
Erected in 1925, the Cross of Sacrifice stands in what is now McDonald Park, near Murney Tower and is the home for Kingston's Remembrance Day ceremonies each November 11.
The Cross of Sacrifice was originally funded and commissioned by the Kingston Chapter of Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE). When the local chapter of IODE closed in the 1950s, the Princess of Wales' Own Regiment became stewards of the monument – an organization with a strong connection to the reality of military loss. As Capt. Marc Gallant, PWOR Regimental Adjutant describes it, the PWOR is "the only agency in town at the pointy end of the spear." The Cross of Sacrifice is now part of the City's civic collection of artifacts, art and public memorials, making the stewardship of the monument a collaborative effort.
Originally erected in memory of the Kingstonians who gave their lives in the First World War, the cenotaph now serves as a symbol of contribution and sacrifice for all of Kingston's fallen men and women. The Cross also represents the volunteerism and generosity of the IODE. This spirit of community service continues with the contributions now raised by the Princess of Wales' Own Regiment Foundation to collaborate with the City and Veterans Affairs Canada in restoring this monument.