|Vimy Ridge Memorial|
I was fortunate to travel throughout Europe this past summer. It was my first trip 'across the pond' and I was doing my best to soak in as much as possible. On one of my first days abroad the tour group I travelled with drove from London to Paris. It was a long trek but I was eager to see the French countryside.
One of the major monuments we drove past that day was that of Vimy Ridge. Now, being only one of three Canadians on board the bus, I didn't expect our tour manager, Stu, to say too much about it. I was pleasantly surprised when Stu, spoke at lengths about the impact the Canadian forces had during this battle in WWI whereupon all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force were involved (for the first time) as a cohesive formation to break apart a critical German line. Many lives were lost but ultimately the Canadians penetrated. Subsequently, the Battle of Vimy Ridge has become a national symbol of Canadian achievement and sacrifice. My heart swelled with pride.
And so today, on this day of national remembrance, my heart swells with a similar pride. Pride for our forces who fought and are still fighting to keep our world safe. Pride for the people back at home who worked hard and made sacrifices while their loved ones were far from home. Pride for the country that I live in and for the efforts made to do what is right.
And so I'll close with the well known poem written by John McCrae in 1915, a Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel, In Flanders Fields.