By Jeet Heer
October 25, 2014
When Corporal Nathan Cirillo stood guard on Wednesday morning at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, which stands kitty-corner from Canada’s Parliament, he carried a rifle that was unloaded. Although the sentries at the monument are real soldiers, their presence is more about preserving the dignity of the monument than defending against violent attacks. The position of memorial guard was created after a 2006 episode in which three hooligans urinated on the tomb commemorating the war dead.