Memorial Day: How to watch and what to expect

Newfoundland’s Unknown Soldier was carried into Confederation Building on Friday morning during a ceremony ahead of his lying-in-state. The soldier will be brought to the National War Memorial on Monday morning. (CBC)

It has taken 100 years to get here but the moment has finally arrived.

The National War Memorial in downtown St. John’s is marking its centennial, and with it the entombment of the Unknown Soldier, who died fighting for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in northern France during the First World War.

Memorial Day will be busier than usual.

Dignitaries are travelling to St. John’s to take in the ceremony. Hundreds of military members, Royal Canadian Legion members and others will parade through the streets of downtown to take their posts around the memorial. 

A 19-gun salute will fire between 10 a.m. and 10:19 a.m. from the Queen’s Battery to mark the time that the Canadian Armed Forces contingent marches to the National War Memorial.  The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation said in a statement Friday that access to the Queen’s Battery area will be strictly controlled during the gun salute.

The guard for the interment of the Unknown Soldier will also fire a seven-rifle salute in three rounds using blanks during the committal of remains around 10:55 a.m.

Thousands of spectators are expected to be on the scene as well, and hundreds more at viewings set up at the Sheraton Hotel and The Rooms. 

A Royal Canadian Air Force flyover is expected, if the weather permits, around 11 a.m. 

The HMCS Goose Bay will arrive at Pier 17 in St. John’s Harbour around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. On Monday morning, the vessel will pull alongside the Harvey’s berth — next to King’s Beach and Harbourside Park — for the ceremony. Members of HMCS Goose Bay will be on the deck of the vessel for the ceremony.

The entire ceremony is expected to begin at 10 a.m. and end shortly after noon. 

CBC News will carry live Memorial Day coverage Monday from 9 a.m. NT to 12:30 p.m. Watch on CBC Television, visit or watch CBC Gem. 

Download our free CBC News app to sign up for push alerts for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador. Click here to visit our landing page.

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