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Which figure is honoured with the first military memorial for the Province of Upper Canada?

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Upper Canada's first military memorial was built to honour Major-General Sir Isaac Brock (6 October 1769 – 13 October 1812) who died while defending Upper Canada against the U.S. during the War of 1812. Brock's military actions earned him the sobriquet 'The Hero of Upper Canada'. On 16 October, three days after the battle, Brock as well as Lieutenant-Colonel John McDonell (19 April 1785 – 14 October 1812) – his provincial aide-de camp – were initially buried at the bastion of Fort George, Niagara. It was not until March 1815 that the Legislature of Upper Canada – knowing that the people of the province "reverenced Brock's memory and wanted to express their tribute with a lasting, public testimonial" – passed an act to erect a monument on the Heights of Queenston near the spot where he fell. It was on the 12th anniversary of his death – 13 October 1824 – that a solemn funeral procession took place to deposit his mortal remains into a vault constructed within the base of a Tuscan column. The original monument was destroyed in 1840 by an explosion of gunpowder by a rebel of 1837. The foundation stone of a second monument was laid on the 41st anniversary of Brock's death, 13 October 1853, and the remains were again reinterred, with due solemnity. The new monument shown in the photograph was completed in August 1857.

On this day, 13 October 2021, we commemorate the 209th anniversary of the death of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock and mark the 168th anniversary since his remains were reinterred for a final time in the second monument erected in his honour.

André M. Levesque

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