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100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Updated: May 28, 2023

Today, April 9, 2017, which is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (part of the Battle of Arras), just one of the major battles of World War 1.


I waited to post this particular blog installment today.


I have just finished watching the live coverage of the ceremony at the Vimy Memorial. It was very beautiful. They had replica WWI planes fly overhead at the beginning of the ceremony. All of the speeches (PM Trudeau, HRH Prince Charles, and France's President Hollande) all spoke of the sacrifices, the partnerships and the reason they were all fighting together...for PEACE. Lovely tributes.


Road to Vimy Memorial
Road to Vimy Memorial

A Tribute to Sacrifice


In 1920, the Canadian Battlefields Memorials Commission was established to oversee creation of eight Canadian battlefield memorials in France and Belgium. The most impressive is the majestic and inspiring Canadian National Vimy Memorial. With a wealth of symbolism in its sculptures, it is a lasting tribute to the ultimate sacrifice Canadians made in Europe in the First World War.


Approaching Vimy
Approaching Vimy

Symbolism in the Memorial and Canada Bereft


Twenty symbolic figures grace the monument. The topmost – that of Peace – is approximately 110 metres above. Arranged below are other figures representing Justice, Truth, Knowledge, Gallantry and Sympathy. The largest figure, a mourning figure known as Canada Bereft, was carved from a single 30‑tonne block. Head bowed in sorrow, she provides a powerful representation of Canada, a young nation grieving her dead.


Some of the figures on the Vimy Memorial
Some of the Figures on the Vimy Memorial

Overlooking the Douai Plain, she gazes down upon a symbolic tomb draped in laurel branches and bearing a helmet and sword.


Canada Bereft statue on Vimy Memorial
Canada Bereft

Visiting Vimy Memorial


I was fortunate enough to visit the Vimy Memorial in October 2012. We had visited Beaumont-Hamel at the break of dawn and then travelled to Vimy.


The Monument was larger than I had even imagined....the sheer scale cannot be truly felt unless you have the chance to see it for yourself. However, I am showing you many of the photos I took that day, so hoping you can imagine the scale and perhaps you may even feel the need to visit for yourself.


Vimy Memorial
Vimy Memorial

We are fortunate enough to be returning to Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel this fall. We will also be visiting the Caribou trail monuments and several other WWI and WWII monuments in the area. It is very important to remember the past, especially the sacrifices for our freedom and the hope that history will not have to repeat itself.


It should also inspire us to work toward lasting peace, for which those commemorated here gave their lives.


Entering the Vimy Memorial Grounds
Entering the Vimy Memorial Grounds

Graveyard at the Vimy Memorial
Graveyard at the Vimy Memorial

View of the Opposite Side of the memorial, Showing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
View of the Opposite Side of the memorial, Showing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


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Comments


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Hi, thanks for dropping by!

As an avid explorer and Travel Agent, I hope to inspire you to travel and explore the world, or even explore just outside your own backyard!

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If you’re ready to plan your next great adventure, I’d love to help you get there! You can contact me by clicking below or emailing 

(Brenda@ExplorewithBrendaRowe.com) to book your

20-minute Complementary Love to Explore Vacation Planning Session.

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