Witness to Remembrance

Learning history where history was made. That’s the focus of this new Legion Magazine post aimed at opening up discussion on visits to Canadian memorials and battlefields. From France and Belgium to Italy, Hong Kong, Korea and the high seas, there are many sacred locations, including some right here at home, where Canadians served and died. Year after year they are visited by thousands of Canadians who want to honour this service and sacrifice. Collectively, these witnesses to remembrance represent a cross-section of Canadian society, from young students to families of service personnel to war veterans. We are please to present this online forum as a way of encouraging their discussion.

Witness to Remembrance

What Our Ancestors Did For Our Freedom

by Evan Wheeler, Grade 11, Corner Brook Regional High School, Corner Brook, NL We saw the amazing memorial at Vimy Ridge today. There were so many students from all across Canada, from Newfoundland all the way to British Columbia. We first took a silent march which I thought was incredible to walk from the village of Givenchy, with thousands of other students, to the Vimy Memorial. It poured rain at the ceremony and it was very cold. It made me think about the even worse conditions the soldiers had to fight through 95 years ago. To think that real people fought and died on the ground you stood on was amazing. The ceremony also made me understand how Canada became a nation because of this battle and made me proud to be a Canadian. I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience Vimy and I t...
Sharing Coast To Coast
Witness to Remembrance

Sharing Coast To Coast

by Kara Wickstrom-Street, History Teacher, Miles Macdonell Collegiate, Winnipeg As a high school history teacher, I have been fortunate enough to be able to take part in three national services of remembrance with my students;  the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Ortona, and now the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Although each of these experiences has been unique in  terms of the students that have taken part and the places that we have visited, the heartfelt displays of pride and appreciation displayed by my students when they set foot on the same places where Canadians generations before them made the ultimate sacrifice has been the same each time.  Having the opportunity to witness this history first-hand enables thes...
No One Can Prepare You For Something Like This
Witness to Remembrance

No One Can Prepare You For Something Like This

by Marla Mirand-O'Rourke, Grade 11, Miles Macdonell Collegiate, Winnipeg The Vimy Ridge experience is unbelievable and every one of us who participated in this ceremony left it with a whole new appreciation for the sacrifices made by the soldiers. No one, not even the teachers can really prepare you for something like this. Teachers can only do so much as to teach you and make sure you know about your history but a teacher could never show you the real wonders of the subject. Studying and reading it is a whole different thing then being there, experiencing the land on which history was made. When we first got there, we were organized, handed our lunches and our candles, and had an opportunity to buy extra beverages and food items. We then started our march of silence through the vill...
The Soldier I Researched
Witness to Remembrance

The Soldier I Researched

by Naomi Zurevinski, Grade 12, St. Joseph High School, Saskatoon Visiting the grave of the soldier I researched really allowed for a much more personal connection to the war for me. I wondered if his own family ever had the chance to see his grave. All the graves that we visited were neatly organized and very respectable places. Visiting graves with markers of unknown soldiers is also quite sad and made me really think about those who gave their lives and the sacrifices that they made. Today at the Vimy Memorial, I was able to stand where soldiers stood and walk on the ground that they fought on, and it made me realize that Vimy is so much more than just a battle, or something that we learn about in school. Canadians should be so proud to know that so many young men sacrificed their liv...
Quilt Pays Tribute To Vimy Soldiers
Witness to Remembrance

Quilt Pays Tribute To Vimy Soldiers

  By Judy Miller, John McCrae Secondary School, Ottawa Each student researched the military service records of a WW l and WWl l soldier at Library and Archives Canada. The soldiers from WW l are listed on the Vimy monument and soldiers from WW ll are buried at the Commonwealth Berlin 1939-1945 war cemetery. Soldiers from WW l were from the Cameron Highlanders Regiment stationed in Ottawa and the WW ll were all with the RCAF. Each student going on the trip was assigned two soldiers, as they will be visiting the Vimy Monument and the Berlin War cemetery, where they will be laying a poppy cross on the grave site of their researched soldier, in remembrance. Also, they each engraved a block of a quilt, stating information regarding the soldiers name, age, personal information ,etc. T...
Britain And Canada’s Special Bond
Witness to Remembrance

Britain And Canada’s Special Bond

by Naomi Zurevinski The Imperial War Museum was so well put together and preserved. The artifacts told such an intense story of war and it really helped me to get a more realistic grasp on the realities of war. Certain exhibits such as the Holocaust one demonstrated devastation and the sadness of war, but were good to see what people actually went through. The Canada Memorial Student Remembrance Ceremony helped me to see the relationship between Canada and Britain and the special bond that they shared through the past and present.

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