Language selection

Looking back at Vimy 100

Remembrance

Looking back at Vimy 100

Transcript

Looking Back at Vimy 100

Photo of people walking around the Vimy monument

Pair of black army boots in grass in front of monument

At first, I was like no way are we going to be able to get out here. There’s no way this is going to happen and then you’re here and it’s like, it’s a completely different experience. You read about it in a book is one thing, but when you go to the cemeteries and

Peak of monument with flag of France

Site of cemetery and thousands of grave stones

the monument and you really see the true event of what happened and you really get a real understanding for what happened here all those years ago.

Interview with Mr. James Blake and grandson Justin

And it’s an experience that you’ll never have one like it, like this is exciting.

Canadian youth interviewed at Vimy site

Coming here I can honestly say just seeing all the Canadian flags in the towns, it really makes me proud and I have a feeling of pride now that I never had before that I’m Canadian and I think I’m going to carry that with me now through all my travels. I am really going to be way more patriotic because we are an amazing country and I didn’t really realize that so it has opened my eyes a lot.

Two Canadian Veterans being interviewed with cemetery in background

My father and his were here one hundred years ago on April 9th at the beginning of the attack.

Canadian delegate standing in front of Vimy monument

You got to be forever thankful for the Veterans and for fighting for this eh, and keeping us in the state that we are at. I sometimes feel guilty because I wasn’t in during wartime and, you know, and to see what’s happening there and to see the sacrifice and hardship, it’s from them that I got that. And that makes you feel pretty humble.

Interview in front of Vimy monument with Canadian visitor

My thoughts, of course, are with men who died so that we could be free. But especially with my wife’s great uncle who died here 100 years ago yesterday and he is buried down in the cemetery, we are going to see the cemetery now, but my daughter is extremely keen on this. She’s the one that got us on this trip. She organized the whole thing for us. She has his medal, his picture so I am taking back a pair of boots so that on Remembrance Day when she sets everything out, she’ll have these.

Tow Canadian youth being interviewed

Honestly it’s an amazing experience to be here. My mom’s been here I think like five times, four times now and ever since she’s went on her first trip I’ve always wanted to go and experience this and now that I’m here it’s just surreal to be here where all the soldiers fought and many lost their lives. It’s just amazing to think what they done.

Canadian Veteran being interviewed in front of Vimy monument

It’s been an amazing experience to be here for the 100th and what an honour. The trip has gone extremely fast and it seems like we just got here and we’re already planning to go home but the reverence the people of France has shown us and the support and the number of Canadians who have come over for this event is just staggering. It was so emotional yesterday.

Canadian youth being interviewed in front of Vimy monument

One thing that hit me very hard was when at the end of the ceremony everyone sang the Canadian anthem and just being in a different country and hearing this large group of people sing the anthem just made me feel so proud to be from Canada.

Inscriptions of names on ring of remembrance

There’s one story that is going to stay with me forever and that’s when we were at the Ring of Remembrance.

Two crosses in the midst of a cemetery landscape

We stopped with a 97 year old World War II

Canadian youth being interviewed

Veteran that landed on D-Day and we were talking with him. And one of my friends asked him why? Why would you join up? And a lot of Veterans give the same kind of answer. A lot of them don’t like to talk about things because it brings up bad memories so he just gave the regular answer, “Oh I served my country, I felt obligated, the thing to do.” And then he, he was physically upset, you could see something was moved in him when she had asked him that. And then a couple minutes later, he gave her a different answer as the conversation moved, he came back to it and said, “I’m originally from Yugoslavia and I immigrated to Canada and when I was living in BC, I felt it was my duty, if I wanted to call myself Canadian to put on the uniform and earn it.” And that touched the four of us that were standing there. Then he started to cry and we, of course, it was just something that I had never seen and something I might not see again and it was emotionally touching for sure.

Pair of black boots set in the grass in front of Vimy monument

Canada.ca/Vimy-100

Logo Canada 150

A message from the Government of Canada
Description

As many Canadians experience being part of the 100th Anniversary of Battle of Vimy Ridge, their thoughts are shared about the feelings they have in being part of this commemoration

Meta Data
Medium:
Video
Owner:
Veterans Affairs Canada
Recorded:
April 12, 2017
Duration:
4:34
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
Location/Theatre:
France
Battle/Campaign:
Battle of Vimy Ridge

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: