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  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!
  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!
  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!
  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!

“No day will erase you from the memory of time”

Today was a moving and emotional day of ceremonies hosted by the Canadian Battlefields Foundation in the city of Caen. We took part in three ceremonies in different locations around the city, each with its own theme: education, commemoration, and remembrance. In the time since these ceremonies I have taken the opportunity to reflect on how these themes emerged not only today but throughout the trip as a who ...

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D-Day

On June 6th, 2017 we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the D-Day ceremonies at Juno Beach. The feeling of standing at the sight where thousands of Canadians and other Allied troops came ashore and helped to liberate France and the other occupied countries was very humbling. Listening to the poems and the French locals speaking about their thankfulness for their countries liberation made many of us fee ...

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Before H-Hour

"Vive le Québec Libre!" We all laugh at the old man's imitation of Charles de Gaulle in the D-Day Academy. As we separate into small groups to look at artillery and military equipment collected in the warehouse, the old man joins us and starts talking about his experiences in 1944. The Allies liberated his town when he was just six years old, yet he remembers it clearly. The years afterwards were rough on h ...

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Seeing History of the Second World War

It is hard to believe that we have one week left before we're back on that plane flying home to our respectful areas. It seems like we have been here far longer than I know we have. I have learned and seen so much that there is nothing I can compare this experience to. We said goodbye to Dieppe and the beautiful waterfront hotel and have made our way to the coast of Normandy where we are now studying the in ...

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Why Dieppe?

Why Dieppe? This is a question that I have often heard asked about the Dieppe raid. There are different variations of the question: Why did the Allies choose this particular location to launch a raid? Why 19 August? What was the purpose of the raid? Why was it the Canadians who carried out the raid? These questions are often asked in light of knowing the result of the Dieppe raid, and with the assumption th ...

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Remembering the Dead

We began our day by visiting the Irish War Cemetery in Guillemot. It saddens me to look upon their graves and ponder about lives of the men who lay before me. Did they have a wife or girlfriend; children or siblings; someone to remember them once they died? It’s hard to know for sure, but I like to think that someone came by this cemetery and wept for the dead. On this tour, we have visited 2 to 3 cemeterie ...

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Canal du Nord & Bourlon Wood Memorial

Today, we went to the site of the Canal du Nord. The Canal du Nord is where Arthur Currie led the Canadians across the then empty canal basin in September 1918 as part of the Battle of Arras. Before the attack, the Canadians hid in the local woods and the town before attacking the village. The Canadians needed to be fast to breech the canal and to subsequently cross it. After the canal was taken, the engine ...

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All is not quiet on the Western Front

In the 1930’s film adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front, there is a scene in which soldiers discuss the causes of the war. The first cause they come up with is that counties offended one another, which begs the question of what German mountain offended which French hill. The soldiers then amend their statement to say that people offended one another, prompting one soldiers pipes up that he isn’t off ...

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Keeping the Memory Alive

During our first stop at the Lijssenthoek cemetery I found myself walking the rows, moved to tears at the amazing expanse of manicured green grass and tombstones staring back at me. Seeing the ages of the young men flash by me tombstone after tombstone, I couldn't help but imagine what it would have been like for them. Some of them were even my age and younger. The magnitude of having to go off to war to se ...

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Carrefour

Today we visited the Regina trench cemetery located in a remote area in Northern France. Because of it's location, it is not visited as much as other WW1 cemeteries in France. Despite that however, the site was still being maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission. This was significant for me because it demonstrates that the First World War is still important to Europeans even after a century. Mainta ...

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