Commemorate Remembrance Day with Beechwood Cemetery

Veterans Week Activities Perfect Time to Explore History at Beechwood

In the lead up to Veterans Week starting Nov. 5 that culminates with annual Remembrance Day celebrations, Canadians coast to coast are reminded of the great service and sacrifice offered by the women and men in our defence and security community. At Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery, the official National Cemetery of Canada, such important acknowledgements are truly a year-round activity.

“Remembrance is something people tend to forget happens all year round at Beechwood,” said Nick McCarthy, Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Outreach with the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation. “We host a lot of events in October and November, but we really start in April with ANZAC Day. All year we do these special events and ceremonies that all lead up to Remembrance Day, when thousands of Ottawa residents and people from the national capital region descend upon Beechwood to share in the ceremonies.” As the National Cemetery of Canada, Beechwood is dedicated to delivering high-quality service to honour our forefathers and set a precedent for future generations. Established in 1873, Beechwood is recognized as one of the most beautiful and historic cemeteries in Canada. This breathtaking park-like setting boasts 160 acres of colourful gardens, century-old trees, ponds, and exquisitely groomed trails. More important is the fact that Beechwood is home to a number of sections honouring the defence and security community from Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, CSIS, Ottawa Police, and veterans of various military activities dating back to the War of 1812. The National Military Cemetery, The RCMP National Memorial Cemetery, The CSIS National Memorial Cemetery, and the cemetery for Veterans and War Dead are all housed within the grounds at Beechwood, providing a comprehensive record of Canadian history as rich as any library.

“Cemeteries have always been referenced as libraries,” said McCarthy. “(Former Governor General) Michaella Jean, when she was here for the dedication of our building, said cemeteries are like human libraries where you get to look at headstones to discover the stories. At Beechwood, the story of our military is over 200 years old. It’s about the evolution of the Canadian Armed Forces and the defence and security community. You can walk around Beechwood and discover thousands and thousands of graves that often go unrecognized. Part of our goal is to celebrate the individuals and their stories. It’s a commitment to all the people who have served Canada.”