Monday, May 25, 2009

Vimy Ridge Day

On Neatorama I found an article about how other countries celebrate/honour their war dead since today is Memorial Day in the United States. Our Remembrance Day is November 11th and celebrates the end of the First World War. I just found out about Vimy Ridge Day which commemorates the battle that made Canada a nation. Our sacrifice allowed us to sign the armistice agreement as a separate country and not a member of the British Commonwealth. I am late in recognizing this day so today I honour our war dead along with my own father who served in the Canadian army as an artillery man for 32 years. Hate the policies of the governments that place them in harm's way but honour the troops who often make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

"This unofficial Canadian holiday has only been around since 2003, so compared to the others on the list, it’s a newcomer. On the ninth of April, Canadians remember their lost soldiers from the Battle of Vimy Ridge from WWI. It was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps had ever fought together, and although they were successful in taking the ridge from the German troops, they lost nearly 4,000 men in the process. Canadians honor the soldiers who gave their lives in this battle by lowering flags to half mast, holding ceremonies and leaving wreaths on graves and monuments. Unlike others on this list, this holiday has not expanded to include any deceased loved ones - it remains specifically dedicated to the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Incidentally, there is a monument at the actual site of the battle; it’s one of only two Canadian National Monuments located outside of Canada (the other one is also in France)."

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