I have always been proud to be a Canadian, even majoring in Canadian History in university. My heritage is both French and English and everyone on both sides of my family like each other! On a visit to Paris to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law they decided to surprise me with a visit to northern France. We spent a day a Vimy Ridge which invoked many feelings. It was a dark, rainy (off and on), cold day, it felt like it was winter rather than the middle of August. As the day wasn’t so nice, there weren’t many visitors to the site and we were able to take a full tour of a trench. It was amazing to see how the soldiers lived while there as well as all of the sketches and inscriptions in the wall. The maple leaf wasn’t a recognized symbol of Canada at that time but it was sketched many times throughout the trench. We foolishly decided to walk from the visitors’ center to the monument and had to run between trees to try to stay dry. As we reached the beginning of the walkway to the monument the sky cleared showing a beautiful blue sky and the sun shone. It was absolutely incredible to see. That day there were tears, laughter and so much pride knowing what this area, which is Canadian territory, meant during the battle and what it represents now. This year is the 100 year commemoration of the battle which helped define Canada and what we can all do when we come together to work together. To this day I wear my memorial pin, two red poppies with a maple leaf in the middle, for Remembrance Day. My wish would be for all Canadians to be able to experience and visit Vimy Ridge for themselves as it is breath taking and a point of pride for the nation.
Tanya GS – Coril Holdings Ltd.