Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 18 août 2018

Aujourd’hui, les récipiendaires du PVB 2018 ont visité le cathédrale d’Amiens. Dans l’après-midi, les étudiants ont voyagé à Dieppe où ils ont rencontré Jean Caillet, résistant français durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. En suite, le groupe a fait un tour de mémoriaux à travers Dieppe, a marché le long de la plage rouge et de la plage blanc et a vu la plage bleu et la plage verte. Au soir, les étudiants ont assisté à une veillée du 76e anniversaire des raids de Dieppe et ont participé à la garde d’honneur au Cimetières des Canadiens – Les Vertus. (À noter: les participants blogueront dans leur langue préférée).

Today we transitioned from studying the First World War to the Second World War by visiting a cemetery with soldiers from both wars. I was excited to meet a member of the French Resistance, Jean Caillet, in Dieppe and felt grateful to have had this opportunity. I found the seminar to be extremely engaging because he was open to all of our questions. As he explained his role in the French Resistance, I was able to understand the implications people faced personally during the war. He spoke about his experiences in a manner that allowed me to understand as much as I possibly could about the emotions and hardships he went through. He also discussed his time as a prisoner in Spain which gave me another perspective of the difficulties faced during the war. I felt significantly more connected with the world wars when I was able to engage with someone who had witnessed and participated in one himself. I’m looking forward to speaking to veterans during Dieppe ceremonies tomorrow and learning about the personal aspect of the war.

Ghalia Aamer, Edmonton AB

 

Pour moi, ce jour a été très important. Nous avons rencontré Jean Caillet, résistant français durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. J’étais vraiment très honorée, venant de la France c’était vraiment quelque chose de marquant pour moi. Je le remercie, de nous avoir partagé quelques bouts de sa vie. Je le remercie pour sa générosité et son envie de perpétuer sa mémoire et celle de tous les soldats ayant combattu pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Ce fut vraiment un moment magique ! Nous avons pu également participer à la cérémonie commémorative de Dieppe. Cela était vraiment émouvant. Ils ont déposé une rose sur chaque tombe canadienne et allumé plusieurs flambeaux. Cette journée était superbe ! Merci la Fondation Vimy !

Cassandre Onteniente, Bessières FR

 

Visiting Dieppe was an amazing day. I was drawn in as soon as I stepped foot on the rocky beaches of Red Beach. It’s sad to think of the lives lost on that raid, but at the same time I can’t help but feel a sense of pride. Seeing the landscape, hearing the sounds and feeling the burn of my muscles as we explored the terrain truly put the event into perspective for me.

Later today, the ceremony we attended only added to my feeling of pride. Only with it, I felt the spark of respect I feel for the French people grow into a raging inferno. For those people to commemorate the fallen Canadian soldiers yearly only adds to the swelling high I am still experiencing even as I write this blog post.

The history in Dieppe made me truly see how Canadians aided their allies during the Second World War. To annually remember the fallen of a foreign nation for attempting to liberate your community and to allow the erection of multiple monuments shows how thankful this one town is that we tried to do what we thought was right. Dieppe has won a place in my heart and I can only hope to experience this town again after the program concludes.

Hannah Rogers, Kinkora PEI

 

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 17 août 2018

Aujourd’hui, nos récipiendaires du PVB 2018 ont visité le nouveau Mémorial Cote 70. En suite, ils ont tourné le musée Mons et visité le cimetière St Symphorien. Dans l’après-midi, le groupe a vu Cambrai et visité Bois de Bourlon. Pour finir la journée, Anna a honoré son soldat au cimetière Villers-Bretonneux sur le centenaire de son décés. (À noter: les participants blogueront dans leur langue maternelle).

Maintenant, ce qui a aujourd’hui attiré mon attention fut le débat que nous avons eu sur un point plutôt flou dans la tête de plusieurs historiens et de gens en général, quand fut la réelle fin de la guerre. Les chaperons nous ont chacun partagé leur opinion en réponse à cette question. Je ne peux pas dire que je m’oppose à ces opinions, chacune on leurs bons arguments, mais j’ai moi-même émis une opinion avec une collègue de BVP. Nous nous sommes dit que la fin de la guerre fut le 1er novembre 1993 lors de la création de l’union européenne. Cette discussion pourrait continuer très longtemps, elle sème de réflexions et de différentes opinions. La raison pour laquelle je crois cela est parce que je pense que l’union européenne a uni les différents pays d’Europe et a mis un terme aux conflits restants entres ces mêmes pays. Malgré le fait que les effets de la guerre se font encore ressentir aujourd’hui, je crois que l’union européenne est vraiment puissante et elle représente bien une réconciliation. Mais où est le Canada dans cette histoire? Et bien, il faisait encore parti de l’empire britannique et lorsqu’il fut indépendant, le fait d’avoir aidé dans les deux guerres a gardé le Canada amis avec l’union européenne doc le Canada a naturellement eu une réconciliation avec l’ennemi également. Pensons-y!

Alix Gravel, Bromont QC

 

Today was a day that was spent mainly on the bus, because we had to make the long trip from Lievin to Amiens. That was okay, though, because i really enjoyed being able to sit and talk with everyone for a while! The whole day we were urged to think about when the First World War ended and we were presented with many points of view. It is super interesting to think about, and a question i couldn’t answer but will think about often. These are questions we are asked every day, and i love the way we are always being challenged. Just before supper, I had the incredible honour of doing a tribute to my soldier, Melville Gordon Ball, at Villers-Bretonneux exactly 100 years after his death. I think this connects to the question of when the War ended because even though both his life and the War are deemed “over”, they live on in the memory of the people and the effects the had on the world are still felt today. It is crazy how much I had a connection I felt, one I didn’t even know I had until I saw his name on his gravestone. There was so much I don’t know about him, and I want to spread his legacy across Saskatchewan. I’m so, amazingly happy to have been able to visit him and hope to visit him again soon.

Anna Hoimyr, Gladmar SK

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 16 août 2018

Aujourd’hui, nos récipiendaires du PVB  2018 ont visité le Mémorial national du Canada à Vimy: il s’agit d’une journée importante et émouvant pour nos participants. Le groupe a visité le Centre d’acceuil et d’éducation de Vimy où ils ont tourné les tunnels de Vimy avec Kate d’Anciens Combattants Canada. Dans l’après-midi, ils ont participé à une cérémonie privé à Vimy où Cassidy et Ghalia ont lu la Promesse de se souvenir alors que Gordan, Anna, et Brooke ont deposé une couronne. Pour finir la journée, les étudiants ont visité des sites dont Notre Dame de Lorette, l’Anneau de la mémoire, Cabaret Rouge, Neuville St-Vaast, et Maison Blanche avec le Groupe Durand. (À noter: les participants blogueront dans leur langue préférée).

Seeing the Vimy Memorial was something I had been excited for since being awarded the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize, but nothing prepared me for the actual experience. Driving up to the memorial, I was struck by the solitary white structure standing in the middle of a grassy field, once the site of Canadas bloodiest battle. During our solitary reflection period, I walked the perimeter of the memorial, absorbing the multitude of names inscribed on the walls. Pausing a moment to take everything in, sat on the pure white steps and put a hand to the stone. It was cool against my skin as I searched for a word to describe the emotions I was feeling. I felt sorrow, but also a vague sense of gratitude and contentment. When I stood before the stature of Mother Canada, belting out our national anthem, my heart was full of pride. As our voices blended together, I felt like I was a part of something bigger, just as our soldiers were as they stood on Vimy Ridge. Though a hundred years separate my time and theirs, today I was proud to stand on the ground where they fought, and most of all, proud to be Canadian.  

Rachel Woodruff, Chemainus BC

 

I felt a lot of different emotions today when going to the Vimy Memorial, Maison Blanche and giving my soldier presentation. When we arrived to the Vimy Memorial, we had half an hour of silence. We could walk around and look but we could not talk. During this time, I reflected on what the men whose names were on the wall went through. I couldnt even begin to but I tried my best to empathize with them. Following our visit to the Vimy Memorial, we visited the Vimy Educational Centre where we toured the tunnels. Going through the tunnels was a very educational experience, however the tunnels we visited at Maison Blanche were much more preserved in their original state. Comparing the two sites gave me insight into how historical sites can be manicured for the public. As I mentioned before I did my soldier presentation today. It was a very emotional experience because I felt like my work wasnt done there. I wanted to be able to commemorate my soldier even more but I didnt know how in the moment. I wish I could converse with him but that isnt possible so I was left feeling somewhat empty in a way.

Cassidy Choquette, Steinbach MB

 

Today we visited the Vimy Memorial and the area around it. We started off at the visitor centre, where we learned about some of the geography of the battlefield and the magnitude of the Front and the forces involved. We then toured the preserved trenches and a section of the tunnels underneath them. This gave a sense of the confined spaces that the soldiers worked in, but not of the terrible conditions. We then went to the memorial itself and explored it in silence for thirty minutes. I found that during this time I was able to truly experience something which you could never experience without being there: the feeling of a personal connection to every name carved into that stone as a person who was once just like you or me. We later travelled to Maison Blanche where we were given the privilege of entering the tunnels of an ancient underground chalk mine that was used to house soldiers during the First World War. It contained a multitude of carvings or graffiti which are very significant in the understanding of the thoughts and attitudes of the soldiers who stayed there. The general themes found in the carvings were those of pride in country and fighting unit, and homesickness. I found it to be an especially unique way of gaining insight into the mindset of soldiers in the First World War. Finally, to end the day, we returned to the Vimy Memorial to spend more time with it while there were fewer other people, and to see it lit by spotlights after dark.

John Evans, Victoria BC

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 15 août 2018

Aujourd’hui, nos récipiendaires du PVB 2018 ont visité le Mémorial indien Neuve-Chapelle, le Mémorial Courcelette, et le trou de mine Lochnagar. Dans l’après-midi, ils ont tourné Beaumont-Hamel avec notre guide Canadienne Vienna d’Anciens Combattants Canada, visité Thiepval, et participé dans une atelier d’artifacts au Historial de la Grande Guerre. (À noter: les étudiants blogueront dans leur langue préférée).

It’s hard to describe what it feels like to walk in the footsteps of a fallen generation. Today, we visited Beaumont-Hamel, the site of the Battle of the Somme. The site of the battle that killed 800 of Newfoundland’s brothers, sons, and fathers. I had been anticipating this since the start of the program. This was sacred ground, something that every Newfoundlander hopes to see. When we walked through the entrance, I got chills that did not go away until I was back on the bus. As we walked with the tour guide, I couldn’t help but think that a wall that took us minutes to cross, took the soldiers hours. While we were safe, they fought for every last step.

As I explored the battlefield where our men lived and died, I felt something profound that I struggle to explain. As I saw the Caribou monument, I became overwhelmed with emotion and found myself crying. As I placed Newfoundland pins on each memorial, I felt a connection with each name, each headstone. As I walked through the tattered fields, it felt as if the spirits of the first five hundred were walking with me. I felt a connection to the hundreds of men that I never met, the hundreds of men who died to protect me without ever knowing me. I won’t forget them or their sacrifice. Newfoundland will not forget its fallen, not for as long as the waves still batter our rocky shores.

Kelsey Ross, Burin NL

 

Cette journée a été marquée par une atmosphère sombre avec la visite de nombreux sites commémoratifs, le plus impressionnant étant le Mémorial de Thiepval. Le mémorial de Thiepval est un monument qui honore les noms des soldats britanniques et sud-africains disparus lors de la bataille de la Somme. Avec plus de 72 000 noms présentés sur les murs de la porte, il était à la fois émouvant et accablant. J’ai essayé de voir chaque nom comme une vraie personne avec des émotions, des passions et une famille, mais il est impossible de voir des tragédies aussi importantes. Ces derniers jours, lors de nos visites à Essex Farm et d’autres monuments, les pierres tombales ont été un marqueur visuel du sacrifice de masse qui a eu lieu il ya environ 100 ans. Les noms des murs du Mémorial de Thiepval sont souvent oubliés, car leur site commémoratif est une liste de noms facilement consultables, mais ces derniers jours m’ont rappelé les noms des disparus, en tant que personnes, au lieu de juste un autre numéro tragique.

Isabella Mackay, Ottawa ON

 

The day started in Belgium with one of the most beautiful sunrises we’ve experienced so far. After crossing borders into France and visiting several memorials throughout the day we arrived at Thiepval Memorial & CWGC and words fall just short of describing the magnitude of the site.

A humble entrance tricks the mind into believing it’s another memorial and museum, yet a short walk unveils an arch-like edification of monumental measures. Such a grand site makes one wonder, how vast was the extent of the First World War? The endless names that adorn the walls of the memorial touch deep within the heart and suddenly the emotion is too much. But isn’t everything about this war “too much”? Too much loss, too much sacrifice and too much at stake. Lower is the CWGC, a shared grave site with Commonwealth soldier headstones and French soldier headstones. The view encapsules the true spirit of cooperation and the European brethren that fought together for the beliefs and morals they deemed essential for society, the same morals we, as youth, should strive to protect through remembrance of this conflict. Tomorrow Vimy Memorial awaits our visit.

Alejandra Largo Alvarez, London ON

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 14 août 2018

Toujours dans la region d’Ypres, le groupe PVB 2018 a tourné le salient d’Ypres en bicyclette avec notre marveilleux guide Carl. Les sites inclues la Porte de Menin, le Mémorial de St. Julien, le cimetière Tyne Cot, le Mémorial de Passchendaele, et le Mémorial du Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Au suite, ils ont assisté à la cérémonie du « Last Post » à la Porte de Menin, où Isabella, Caroline, et Laetitia ont déposé la couronne pour commémorer les morts.  (À noter: les participants blogueront dans leur langue préférée).

Aujourd’hui, nous avons fait un tour des lieux historiques de Belgique en bicyclette. Nous avons eu l’opportunité de visiter plusieurs cimetières et des monuments commémoratifs, dont un à St-Julien et un autre à Passchendaele. Cette expérience a été, à la fois, éducative et divertissante. Le cimetière de Tyne Cot m’a particulièrement marqué par les découvertes faites durant notre visite à cet endroit-là. J’ai appris que certains soldats avaient été enterrés avant la construction du cimetière parce qu’ils étaient morts sur les lieux et comme l’organisation responsable du cimetière ne voulait pas changer leurs localisations dans celui-ci, leurs pierres tombales sont mises dans un ordre non conforme; hors des rangées classiques présentes dans les cimetières classiques. J’ai ressenti que les soldats étaient respectés à leur juste valeur. J’ai aussi été surprise d’apprendre que certains allemands sont enterrés dans le cimetière Tyne Cot en Belgique, à cause de règles qui empêchent le rapatriement dans ce pays européen. Cette découverte m’a poussée à me demander si d’autres personnes ont fait des tentatives similaires et à vouloir en apprendre davantage sur l’opinion des historiens sur la question de rapatriement. J’ai hâte de faire des recherches pour trouver des réponses à mes questions.

Selon moi, notre journée s’est terminée en beauté : nous avons assisté à la cérémonie quotidienne <<Last Post>> commémorant les soldats morts lors de la Première Guerre mondiale à la porte de Menin. J’ai d’ailleurs eu l’honneur de déposer un bouquet de fleurs avec deux autres récipiendaires : Isabella et Caroline. Pour moi, ce fut un moment unique rempli d’émotions qui restera à jamais graver dans ma mémoire.

Laetitia Champenois-Pison, Montreal QC

 

Today has been my favourite day so far. We went on a bike ride and visited many memorials, including Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery. There are almost 12,000 graves there, 8,300 of which remain unidentified. Round the outside of the plot, there were the names of 35,000 British and New Zealand soldiers, all of whom have no resting place. This was also where I did my soldier tribute. After spending many hours researching my soldier, it was incredible to finally visit his grave. It was also very moving, and to think that I had just told one of the soldier’s story, but there were millions of others just like him who lost their lives to this terrible war. My soldier was brought up in Edinburgh like myself, very near my house in fact, and went to the same local high school as many of my friends. Unlike my friends and I, however, he went to war, and died. His sacrifice, and the sacrifice of all the other soldiers that fought on both sides of the First World War makes them true heroes, and have my utmost respect.

Gordon Simpson, Edinburgh Scotland

 

Today, we witnessed the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. It was our second visit to the memorial, and yesterday I presented my soldier tribute. It was almost a turning point for me on this trip because the morning of my presentation we had visited many cemeteries and I hadn’t felt the least bit sad. I felt guilty because my fellow BVP peers had tears in their eyes. I thought that maybe someone else would be more empathetic would get more out of it. However, when I was presenting my soldiers project, everything was fine until I started to pack up my papers and walk away. All of a sudden, I felt my lip quivering and tears form in my eyes. I don’t know why I started to tear up, maybe it was because I was saying goodbye to my soldier, or maybe it was that I had spent so much time preparing my presentation for him and now it was over just like that. I realized that I can get so much from this program and I promised myself that I would make the most of this program by not worrying about how I might react differently to monuments, and taking in this experience in my own personal way. To end this day, I would like to share the poem I wrote for my soldier.

I Want You To Know

I want you to know,

That Indian Point still extends into the Bay

Waving goodbye to the boats that sail away

The ocean still creeps along the shore

Until the tide is up and there’s no beach anymore

I want you to know,

That the Algonquin Hotel still stands proud,

A shining gem in our small town

I want you to know,

That amidst the town square where children play and laugh

Stands an arch made from stone that we call cenotaph

John Herbert McMullon, you will never lose your home

Because in the town of Saint Andrews, your name’s written in stone

I want you to know,

You and many others, received an underserving fate

And that’s why I came to honour you, at the Menin Gate

Brooke Reid, St. Andrews NB

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 13 août 2018

Aujourd’hui en Belgique, nos récipiendaires du PVB 2018 ont visité le cemetière allemande Langemark et le poste de secours de John McCrae où Gordon et Cassandre ont lu le poem Au champ d’honneur. En suite, les étudiants ont visité le In Flanders Fields Museum situé dans la Halle aux draps d’Ypres. Ils ont gravi les 231 marches de la tour pour admirer les vues magnifiques sur la région d’Ypres. Lisez les publications des étudiants en suivant le lien dans notre biographie. (À noter: les participants blogueront dans leur langue préférée).

The first site that we visited today upon our arrival in Belgium was the German Military Cemetery “Friedhof Langemark.“ As I entered the cemetery proper, I was struck by the number of names carved into the stone walls in every available opening. What I found most interesting about this site was how each headstone had about six names on it, which was out of necessity as the Germans often had to use mass graves.

Essex Farm was the hardest for me. Such a site feels akin to receiving a crushing embrace… with each inhale there is more pain and soon after tears spring to the eyes. The entire site felt so soft, loving and personal that my emotions showed more expression than my words ever could.

Now, both sites were both beautiful and tragic but I feel as though I connected more in Essex because of one grave in particular. There was a boy that served and died in 1916 at the age of 15. This was someone very close in age to me and yet we led drastically different lives. It is boy soldiers like him that really sell the idea of sacrifice to me. For young men to feel the patriotic duty to put their lives on the line makes me thankful to have memorials where I can pay homage to the dead like him.

Hannah Rogers, Kinkora PEI

 

Aujourd’hui j’ai finalement eu la chance de voir les vrais champs de bataille de la Première Guerre Mondiale, en Belgique. C’est une chose de lire sur les batailles, mais c’est une expérience complètement différente de voir les mêmes endroits et reliefs où les soldats ont combattu. Malgré cela, c’est encore très loin des vrais expériences, car nous sommes ici en temps de paix. Nous avons visité Langemark, un cimetière allemand, et Essex Farm, un cimetière commonwealth. Les deux sont en Belgique, ce qui est très symbolique, car cela représente le respet des soldats sacrifiés des deux côtés. Langemark garde la mémoire des soldats allemands morts durant les batailles de Ypres, surnommé le « Studenteschlafe » car la majorité des soldats morts étaient des étudiants. Cela démontre la vraie tragédie de la guerre : environ 40,000 jeunes allemands avec des futurs remplis de promesses. J`ai été frappé, à Langemark, par l`enterrement de deux soldats anglais. Je crois que c’est merveilleux que Langemark montre ce respect pour tous les soldats sacrifiés, peu importe leur nationalité. Une question que j`aimerais partager est s`il serait mieux pour les deux anglais enterrés à Langemark d’être plutôt enterrés à Essex Farm?

Standford Lee, Beaconsfield QC

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 12 août 2018

Aujourd’hui, les récipiendaires du PVB 2018 ont voyagé à Oxford University pour assister à des conférences données par Fiona Houston de University of Aberdeen et Dr. Emma Login de Historic England. En suite, les étudiants ont participé à une course incroyable à travers Oxford et ont terminé la journée par ‘punting’ sur la rivière. (À noter: les étudiants blogueront dans leur langue préférée).

Today, we had the opportunity to journey to Oxford, England. It was an experience many of us- especially me- were highly anticipating, and I can confidently say that my dreams really did come true. Upon entering the Oxford University campus, I was overwhelmed by the phenomenally beautiful architecture soaring above our heads, as well as the quaint and welcoming essence of the town. After briefly exploring, we were lucky to reunite with one of the program’s alumni, Hannah Smyth, who graciously toured around Exeter College, where she currently studies. We were fortunate enough to hear lectures from historians Fiona Houston and Emma Login, who spoke to us about First World War propaganda and how memorials change over time, respectively. I found the lectures fascinating, and some particular highlights for me included learning how propaganda can be considered both ‘good and bad’ and how memorials can have different meanings for different people. Following the lectures, we further explored the campus with an ‘Amazing Race’ style treasure hunt and later got the opportunity to try ‘punting’ on the river. All in all, it was a phenomenal day, and I am so grateful for the many experiences we were afforded.

Caroline Tolton, North York ON

Aujourd’hui départ pour Oxford ! Nous sommes tous très impatient d’y aller. Nous avons eu la chance de pouvoir visiter un campus. L’architecture est vraiment intéressante et magnifique. Les bâtiments sont immenses et magiques. Ce que j’ai préféré, c’est la présentation que nous a faite Fiona Houston concernant la propagande de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Nous avons pu réfléchir ensemble sur l’objectif de cette propagande et débattre sur certaines affiches, oeuvres d’art de Muirhead Bone ainsi que sur différents textes. La présentation d’Emma Login était également très intéressante. J’ai particulièrement aimé le moment où elle nous a parlé du « Queer Remembrance Day » du 2 novembre 1997, les photos étaient pleines d’émotions.

Après tout ça, les chaperons ont organisé le « Beaverbrook Amazing Race » dans la ville, C’était vraiment amusant avec mon équipe nous avons terminé les premiers. Pour terminer la journée en beauté, nous avons fait du « punting » (comme les gondoles). Ce fut une première pour tout le monde. Cela restera inoubliable. Pour finir, nous sommes allés manger dans un restaurant indien « le Shezan ».

Cassandre Onteniente, Bessières FRANCE

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 11 août 2018

Aujourd’hui, les récipiendaires du Prix Vimy Beaverbrook ont visité le Imperial War Museums Londres et ont eu la chance d’écouter une présentation et de participer à un atelier avec Anna Maguire de King’s College London et James Wallace de University of Essex. En suite, les étudiants ont fait un tour de mémoriaux et ont visité le Churchill War Rooms.  (À noter : les étudiants blogueront dans leur langue préférée).

As we walked the streets of London today, I was still trying to grasp the surreal feeling of being able to take part in this experience. We spent the day touring the Imperial War Museum, learning about monuments around the city, and visiting the Churchill War Rooms. The First World War exhibit at the IWM had the greatest impact on me because I was able to learn about events in history through real stories and artefacts from the war. Before this program, my knowledge of the World Wars was limited to what I was taught in the classroom. For years, I have attended Remembrance Day ceremonies and been told that we must honour the sacrifices of those who served but never fully understood the extent of what they experienced. Going through the exhibit today, however, I learned about the experiences of soldiers, children, and families during the First World War. A letter that a nine-year-old wrote resonated with me the most when he requested to help the army. The impacts of the war were evident especially when young children were so deeply affected. I can only imagine the horrors faced by soldiers as they fought in the trenches, by civilians who fell in the crossfire, and by families who waited for their loved ones to return. The First World War did not only impact the soldiers who fought in it, but rather people all around the world and the exhibit at the Imperial War Museum allowed me to develop a much deeper understanding of the broader impacts of war.

Ghalia Aamer, Edmonton AB

Aujourdhui fût une journée bien remplie, pleine dapprentissages, pleine dactivités et pleine démotion. Mon moment fétiche de la journée fût la visite du musée IWM et plus particulièrement la section sur les héros de la guerre. Jai trouvé que la présentation était très attirante visuellement mais aussi auditive et tactile. Jai ressenti un profond intérêt envers lapprentissage sur les soldats et lexploit de leur rôle, et j`ai trouvé cela brillant davoir réservé une galerie pour eux. Ce nétait pas que les héros de guerre qui furent abordés dans cette galerie : les femmes, héroïnes, furent également exposées dans une partie de cette exposition.

Finalement, le moment dont je vais faire part ici, c`est la section de lholocauste. Je crois que certaines choses à propos de cet horrible moment de lhistoire sont des tabous, mais oser d`aborder ces choses et cest ce qui ajoute lélément sensible à un musée. Ce qui ma affectée le plus a été de voir des images denfants juifs décédés et ce quils fesaient de leurs pauvres corps. Regarder ces images cest difficile et cela me fait penser à limportance dune simple vie et au nombre de celles-ci qui ont été perdues trop tôt.

Alix Gravel, Bromont QC

Blog Prix Vimy Beaverbrook – 10 août 2018

Les participants et les chaperons du Prix Vimy Beaverbrook Vimy, prêts à quitter L’aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal le 9 août 2018.

Hier étudiants sélectionnés de partout au Canada ont embarqué pour le Prix Vimy Beaverbrook de la Fondation Vimy! Suivez nos récipiendaires du prix Vimy Beaverbrook 2018 alors qu’ils blogent sur leur expérience d’éducation à l’histoire de la Première et de la Seconde Guerre mondiale! (À noter: les participants blogueront dans leur langue préférée). Les blogs d’aujourd’hui viennent de nos chaperons.

And we’re off…We made it to Pearson Airport, met with our Toronto student and her parents, and are waiting at the gate for all the other students to arrive on flights from their hometowns! I’m so excited to meet everyone in person and begin the England part of our program!

-Sara Karn

Katrina: Since the moment they learned that they have been selected as recipients of the 2018 Beaverbrook Vimy Prize, this group of students has been busy preparing for the program by completing academic readings, organizing group presentation materials, and by preparing a presentation about an individual who is buried or commemorated overseas. Over the past few months, each one of these students has already contributed something unique to this group with their work ethic and dedication to learning Canada’s military past.

By leading on-site lectures, asking thought provoking questions, and sharing in respectful historical debates, myself and my fellow chaperones will guide these young scholars across the landscapes, battlefields, memorials, and museums in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity that not one of us will forget.

-Katrina Pasierbek

Everyone has made it to Montreal and we are ready to ship off to London. I’m looking forward to meeting our two European participants and getting the 2018 BVP started. We have a great itinerary lined up and a fantastic group of students. Having the opportunity to learn about the two world wars while experiencing the sites and battlefields is a tremendous opportunity for the students to immerse themselves in the stories that marked this critical period in not only Canadian, but also world, history.

-Sean Graham

This will be my second program with the Vimy Foundation and my first time on the BVP program. This time around, however, I had the opportunity to be on the selection committee. I was fortunate enough to read a lot of the applications and I can say without hesitation, that the 16 students who were selected to participate will be an amazing group to share this incredible experience with. I can’t wait to get a start on the program and I am looking forward to returning to many of the sites we visited in April, and then some. Most of all, however, I am excited to participate in a program with such an enthusiastic group of students and chaperones, and see the positive ways this learning experience will impact everyone of us.

-Lindsay Fraser-Noel

I’m writing from the Eurostar, on my way to London from Paris. Preparations for this programme have been intense and I can’t believe today is the day when it finally starts! Though I am only meeting one of the participants tonight, I feel like the BVP2018 has already kicked off. Knowledge in our programmes tipically flows from all directions, and I can’t wait to share my passion for the history of warfare with our students but also learn from them and with them. As usual, I have a few poetic and anthropological surprises prepared! This will be my third programme with the Vimy Foundation and my first BVP, and I am excited to lead the students through the country of my ancestors, where I studied and where my career as a First World War specialist began. I am also looking forward to rediscovering the beaches in Normandy and refreshing my knowledge about the Second World War. Most of all, I am looking forward to meeting such an enthusiastic and proactive group of young people (and not-so-young too, as I have missed our chaperone team!) and learning from them about the beautiful country of Canada.

-Julia Ribeiro Thomaz

Blog Prix du Pèlerinage de Vimy – 9 avril 2018

Le dernier jour du programme, les étudiants du Prix du Pèlerinage de Vimy 2018 ont visité le Mémorial national du Canada à Vimy; il s’agit d’une journée important et émouvante pour nos participants. Le groupe a visité le Nouveau Centre d’acceuil et d’éducation de Vimy et à participé à une cérémonie commémorant le 101e anniversaire de la bataille de la crête de Vimy où Nupur et Thomas ont lu la Promesse de se souvenir alors que Katie, Stephanie et Shakil ont déposé une couronne. Plus tard dans la journée, ils ont visité les tunnels souterrains de la Maison Blanche et le cimetière canadien no.2. (À noter: les participants blogueront dans leur langue préférée.)

[7:54 am] Sarah: We’re on our way to Vimy and I can’t wait to experience such an important Canadian Memorial.

 

[8:10 am] Lloyd: Walking up to the monument in silence, with the structure being slowly uncovered by the fog as we moved closer- there was a definitive feeling of awe, indescribable by words.

 

[8:11 am] Amy: In an instant, only mere metres away, a looming outline of the Vimy memorial came into view. Even though the silence and fog remained constant, I could feel my heart begin to pound in my chest as I slowly climbed the first steps of the monument.

 

[8:23 am] Christophe: L’immersion totale dans les sphères psychologiques les plus intimes de ceux qui ont subi la guerre, soit à travers la commémoration de leurs histoires, l’exploration de lieux qui ont marqué leur conscience ou l’admiration du silence solennel aux pieds de cet énorme monument, fut l’une des expériences les plus touchantes pour nous tous.h

 

[9:12 am] Montaña: Seeing my soldier Acil today dug trenches in the pits of my heart that I cannot see myself mounting any time soon.

 

[9:27 am] Rohan: Though I am no way related to Private Milne, I felt as if he was a close member of my family that I had known for years while I read my poem to him at the Vimy Memorial.

 

[10:18 am] Osose: We’re about to go into the Vimy tunnels and I am very excited to see those.

 

[10:33 am] Bethany: Outside of the Vimy tunnels, I met someone from Chilliwack, my hometown, who heard about my pilgrimage. I am so happy to have felt the experience of everyone from around the world coming to Vimy and having been lucky enough to meet.

 

[1:37 pm] Stephanie: Though stone littered the floor, rusted nails stuck out from the walls, and grenades lay idle on the ground, emerging from the dark tunnels of Maison Blanche was the art, personality, and stories of generations.

 

[1:42 pm] Jeriann: I had an amazing time seeing all of the soldiers’ and miners’ graffiti in the Maison Blanche tunnels. I was looking forward to this since the beginning of the program, and it has exceeded all of my expectations.

 

[2:14 pm] Thomas: D’ici quelques minutes, j’irai lire la promesse de se souvenir; quelle honneur !

 

[2:49 pm] Shakil: Staying outside in the rain, preparing to lay the wreath, the only thing running through my mind is the endless cold and rain that a soldier of the First World War had to go through.

 

[4:13 pm] Kiana: The Vimy Ceremony was a very meaningful experience. It was beautiful and I feel like everything that I felt, learned, experienced and saw all culminated in that procession. I have never felt prouder to be Canadian.

 

[4:17 pm] Laurissa: Je n’ai jamais vue une cérémonie de souvenir aussi grande et émouvante. Je suis très chanceuse d’avoir eu la chance de voir une telle cérémonie, et je m’en rappellerai toujours.

 

[4:47 pm] Nepur: Reading the Commitment to Remember, I was proud and humbled to play a part in the ceremony and do my part to honour the contributions and sacrifices of Canadian soldiers.

 

[5:24 pm] Katie: The world is a pretty small place… and sometimes you have to go to the other side of the globe to realize it. I was one of the three, along with Shaq and Stephanie, to lay a wreath at the Vimy Memorial. After hearing my last name announced, Barry C. Quinn (Justice of the Peace of Ontario) came to talk to me. It was quite an experience.

 

[5:42 pm] Julia: Getting to see my great-grandfather’s cousin in the Aix-Noulette Cemetery was an amazing, emotional, and life-changing experience.

 

[6:01 pm] Markus: I gained a new perspective on the importance of honouring our soldiers’ sacrifice and bringing their message to the modern world.

 

[9:04 pm] Damien: Le programme a pris tout son sens aujourd’hui, quand le mémorial de Vimy s’est dévoilé à nous, sous la pluie et la brume, comme hors du temps, une vision irréelle qui nous a rappelé que tout ce que nous avons fait lors de la dernière semaine nous ramène finamelemtn à ce pourquoi nous nous sommes engagés dans cette aventure au départ: c’est vraiment un pèlerinage, pour Vimy, vers Vimy.
[9:14 pm] Léa-Jade: Un mot : Reconnaissant !