In 2017, the City of Niagara Falls Cemetery Services, through the support of Senior Staff and City Council, and in partnership with the Order of St. George, Niagara Falls Legions: A.C. McCallum Memorial Branch 479; Chippawa Branch 396; and Niagara Falls Branch 51, the British Canadian Veterans Association, the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, Kirkpatrick Monument, Morse and Son Funeral Home, Campbell Monument, and Grounds Aerial Maintenance worked toward the design and construction of a new memorial for Niagara's Unknown Soldier.
The Unknown Soldier was originally laid to rest in the Field of Honour in Section M at Fairview Cemetery and his grave was simply identified with a flat marker. Initial discussions revolved around the installation of an upright or larger memorial at the existing grave of the Unknown Solider or in the existing garden of Section M as well as the development of an improved Memorial Garden Centered by the Flag. However meetings of the project team and partners ultimately led to the design of a new location and much larger memorial area with a raised crypt monument to serve as the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” as well as a second memorial monument to be flanked by the Canadian and Union Jack Flags. The design of the new memorial area also incorporates the planting of two Vimy Oaks (donated by Legion Branch 479), adjacent to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The new memorial area and monument were installed on one of Fairview Cemetery’s islands, which serves as a predominant and highly visible and central location. In addition to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and related memorial plaza, work also included the development of a new Field of Honour using the remaining two thirds of the island where two additional Vimy Oaks were planted.
Each year, an annual service during Royal Canadian Legion Week, the third week of September, typically begins with a “Parade to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” On September 16th, 2017, a very special ceremony properly recognized our Unknown Soldier through a formal Military Funeral and the entombment of the Unknown Soldier. The ceremony also served as the formal unveiling of the restoration of 200 veteran’s and war dead graves in Fairview Cemetery's two existing Fields of Honour, as well as the development of the new Field of Honour to the west of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
*Design of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is credited to Natascha Hufgard, Landscape Design Student, City of Niagara Falls