The North Wall
|Location||Windsor, Ontario, Ontario|
The North Wall, also known as the Canadian Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, is a war memorial located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The monument was erected on July 2, 1995 in honour of the Canadian veterans who were killed in action, made prisoners of war, or declared missing in action during the Vietnam War.
There are 103 names of casualties of known Canadian origin on the North Wall, with 7 listed as MIA/BNR. The monument is 14 ft (4.3 m) wide, 11 ft (3.4 m) tall, and weighs 3 tons. The inscription reads:
"As long as we live, you shall live. As long as we live, you shall be remembered. As long as we live, you shall be loved."
Canada was officially a non-belligerent during the Vietnam War. However, around 30,000 Canadian citizens enlisted with the United States Armed Forces in order to serve during the Vietnam War. These Canadians had to list a U.S city as their place of birth or residence because the Canadian Foreign Enlistment Act (1937) states: "Any person who being a Canadian national, whether within or residing outside Canada voluntarily accepts or agrees to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly state, is guilty of an offense of this act."
In 1986, the Canadian Vietnam Veterans' Welcome Home Committee was formed by American Vietnam War veterans Ric Gidner and Ed Johnson. Gidner and Johnson were inspired by Canadian Vietnam Veterans that they met during the 1980s, and formed the Committee as an effort to have a monument created and dedicated to the Canadian veterans of the Vietnam War. The Committee was later re-formed Michigan Association of Concerned Veterans (MACV). Gidner, Johnson, and Chris Reynolds formed committees with Canadian organizations and campaigned to have the Canadian federal government erect a memorial in the capital, Ottawa, Ontario. In 1994, a Bill to erect the memorial failed to pass through Parliament, however. In the meantime, the members of the MACV used private funds to pay for the building of a memorial from black granite, the same material from which the United States' Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. was built. In 1995, the office of the Mayor of Windsor, Michael Hurst, contacted MACV about locating the memorial in Windsor. The initiative was passed by the City Council of Windsor, and the memorial was dedicated on July 2. Canadian and American veterans' organizations attended the dedication, as well as Canadian Senator Jack Marshall and Michael Hurst.
As of June 2009, and every year since the opening dedication in 1995, a ceremony and laying of wreaths is officiated and attended by prominent Canadian and U.S officials, Veterans on both sides of the border, living family members of those engraved in the stone, and supporters of the project.
- Levant, Victor. "Vietnam War". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "Canadian Vietnam Vets fight for benefits". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- "The North Wall". Canadian Vietnam Veterans Information Website. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Lajoie, Don (28 June 2009). "Hundreds gather in Windsor to commemorate Vietnam soldiers". The Windsor Star. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
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