The National Sentry Program has been suspended for the 2016 season, said the Department of National Defence in a statement issued on April 1. The suspension is caused by rehabilitation work taking place at the National War Memorial that will make the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier inaccessible to the public.
The National Sentry Program was instituted in 2007 as part of the Ceremonial Guard’s Public Duties Task. The program was revamped in 2014 to include sentries from all branches of the CAF.
“The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, situated in front of the National War Memorial, is our most iconic and visible reminder of the service and sacrifice of members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The National Sentry Program reinforces Canada’s commitment to pay tribute to our fallen and to honour those who served,” stated the Department of National Defence’s statement.
It is expected that the sentries will resume their duty in 2017. Sentries are on duty from April 9 to November 10 each year until 2020.