Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Vimy Ridge

The desk clerk at the hotel in Lille (L'Hermitage Gantois Autograph) was very helpful. I had almost engaged a driver to take us to Vimy, but when the clerk heard about it he cautioned us, and offered a better alternative driver.
So, we set out to see Vimy Ridge, the place where Canada became a country--so it is said. And the place where my husband's father had fought and been injured. That injury took him to a hospital in England where he met and married my husband's mother.
What can I tell you about Vimy Ridge beyond that? Not a lot, because there's too much to tell. Instead, I'll try to give you some links and photos that will explain why, a hundred years after the battle, it is so important.
In this photo, you see my husband in his wheelchair (a loaner from our travel agent) with our son behind him, and me in the red coat. In the background you can see the enormous pylons of the memorial. I cannot express how emotional this visit was especially for my husband and son.
Notice my husband's white cane. He isn't totally blind, but his vision is such that he really saw only ghostly images of this magnificent structure. Up close, you could see sculpted figures representing Canada mourning her losses, etc. Too much to tell in a blog. I'll see if I can find a link for you.

Meanwhile, here's a link that tells why France gave this portion of their land to Canada in thanks for the victory over the German enemy in World War I.
And another link to the website of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, in Vancouver, BC. It's what that regiment is now, not what it was in April 1917.

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