The words from the tour guide director were emotionally charged. She explained in layman terms, how multiple armies, the French army and the British army, while fighting Germany during WWI, were unable to hold back the Germans in their progression through France. Then the Canadian Army was sent.
All four Canadian divisions were sent together as a unified fighting force for the first time under the command of General Arthur Currie. While 3,598 Canadian soldiers were killed during the battle, the impressive victory over German forces is often cited as the beginning of Canada’s evolution from dominion to independent nation. France would be forever grateful and granted Canada 107 hectares of land at Vimy to build and maintain a memorial. That iconic site is today considered one of the most stirring of all First World War monuments, and certainly Canada’s most important war memorial.
Her words brought tears to my eyes, tears of pride for the Canadian accomplishment, tears of sadness, for the Canadian sacrifice that was required. And while I didn’t know much about Vimy Ridge prior to the tour, I certainly will never forget.
The monument itself, lists names engraved around the exterior and the interior contains a dedication plaque that reads: “To the valour of their countrymen in the Great War and in memory of their sixty thousand dead this monument is raised by the people of Canada.”
This painting was done on the 100 year anniversary of Vimy Ridge as a tribute to the Canadians who sacrificed so much. One half the Vimy Ridge Memorial “Mourning Parents” twin statues, this painting is the male figure.
Pictures of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in granted Canadian land within country of France.