For the Townsman
Nine cadets and four staff from 1813 Lord Strathcona Army Corps have recently returned from their memorable journey to Vimy Ridge.
Thank you to the community for the support over the last two years, in which the Cranbrook Army Corps has been fundraising and preparing for this trip.
Their goal was to be in attendance for the 100th Anniversary Ceremony of Vimy Ridge. The Corps says that it was a great trip, but not long enough to see everything.
The Canadian Cemetery #2 was among the areas they toured, cadets spending some time viewing the grave sites of soldiers they learned about.
At the memorial, thousands of people gathered to remember those who fought and died here, at a battle that would shape the future of our country.
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Erika Nickel-Thibodeau offered a personal account of the journey.
“The names of the fallen are being broadcast over the loud speaker and we cannot help but feel overwhelmed. Our tears are falling; looking around there are no dry eyes to be found. We cannot help but wonder if the young men knew what their sacrifice would mean to those they left behind and to those of us who are standing here now.
“The sun is shining here on the place where one hundred years ago, so much blood was shed and almost 3600 lives were lost. It is difficult to gaze upon the field of craters, which now look like grassy mounds, and know that within those mounds lay the unknown soldiers never found.
“My heart breaks for them and for their loved ones who never had the opportunity to place them at rest. Up on the hill the monument stands tall as a tribute to our fallen and those that were able to return home.
“Looking at it now, I feel peace and I can only hope that generations to follow, will visit this special place. May they remember the sacrifices made by so many, in order for us to have the freedom that we take for granted.
“As for the cadets, I think they all have a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by Canadian troops. During this short trip, the adults watched the cadets grow in ways that cannot even be explained. Together we shared many tears, as individuals and as a group. We supported one another like never before and it was really something special to feel. The cadets attending this trip are returning with a deeper appreciation for their freedom.”