The National Military Cemetery (NMC) of the Canadian Armed Forces is located in Ottawa’s beautiful and historic Beechwood Cemetery and is dedicated to Canadian service personnel who have faithfully served their nation in peace and in war, at home and abroad. Operations are overseen by Military Personnel Command, Directorate of Casualty Support Management (DCSM).
All serving or honourably released members of the Regular Force, Primary Reserves, Merchant Navy, and former services are eligible to be interred in NMC. One immediate family member may also be interred in the same plot as the service member.
Applications may be made by members while they are still living in anticipation of future needs, by a legal representative at time of death, or even well after death for those who have kept an urn or wish to transfer a loved one from another cemetery. A completed application form must be sent to DCSM to determine eligibility. Once an application has been verified, successful applicants or their estates will be notified by letter and arrangements may then be made directly with Beechwood Cemetery and Funeral Services.
Applicants may choose to have funerals or cremations at an establishment of their choice, although Beechwood is able to provide full services. Beechwood will coordinate the purchase, production, and installation of all headstones in accordance with specifications that are pre-determined by the Canadian Armed Forces. Plots will not be pre-selected nor will they be allocated on the basis of rank, service, unit, or personal preference.
Fees related to burials and related services are established annually and are based upon rates filed with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services by Beechwood. Costs for personnel who die while serving will be borne by the Department of National Defence (up to a maximum value in accordance with Treasury Board directives). Burial costs for released members, serving reservists whose deaths are not attributable to service, and eligible family members are borne by the applicant or their estate. Current fees may be viewed on the NMC website.
Units of serving members may conduct full military funerals and / or interments at Beechwood. Subject to availability and the wishes of the applicant, released members are provided a military presence which may include a small guard, chaplain, bugler, and / or piper at no charge.
Completed in 2007, the Hall of Colours at the Beechwood Memorial Centre was designed as a dignified and honourable resting place for retired unit Colours. Following tradition, they will remain hanging there, untouched, until they disintegrate. Units interested in depositing their Colours in (or transferring them to) the Hall of Colours are asked to contact NMC or DCSM.
Further information, including how to contact NMC or DCSM, can be found on the website.