Canadian Cross of Sacrifice
The border between the United States and Canada remains the longest unguarded international boundary on earth, and the two neighbors have shared triumphs and tragedies throughout their history. In this spirit, in 1925 Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King proposed a memorial to the U.S. citizens who volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and lost their lives in World War I. More than 40,000 residents of the United States (including at least 35,000 U.S. citizens) enlisted in the CEF prior to U.S. entry into the war in April 1917.
President Calvin Coolidge approved Prime Minister King's proposal for the memorial in June 1925, and on Armistice Day (November 11) 1927, the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice was dedicated. Designed by architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, the monument consists of a bronze sword adorning a 24-foot gray granite cross. The Cross of Sacrifice, which Blomfield designed for the Imperial War Graves Commission, marks nearly all British Commonwealth military cemeteries with 40 or more graves. It became an iconic memorial of World War I, its abstract, streamlined design a fitting cultural emblem for the modern era.
The memorial's original inscription reads: "Erected by the government of Canada in honour of the citizens of the United States who served in the Canadian Army and gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918." Following World War II and the Korean War, similar inscriptions on other faces of the monument were added to honor Americans who served in the Canadian armed forces during those conflicts.
The Canadian Cross of Sacrifice is located to the northwest of Memorial Amphitheater, across Memorial Drive.