Earlier this evening I had the wonderful opportunity of photographing an event hosted by Scotia Wealth Management at the Canadian War Museum. In commemoration of the sacrifices Canadian men and women made one hundred years ago at Vimy Ridge in France, I was deeply moved by a short presentation delivered by a young Canadian soldier (28-years old) with the Communications and Electronics Branch Vimy Battlefield Study Tour (April 2017). In addition to learning about his study tour on memorials and key battles involving Canadians, I thought deeply about the sheer hell my fellow countrymen experienced as they fell hard and bled out on foreign soil, so that myself and all others after them could live in more peaceful times. As I photographed the moment and the many people in attendance I again felt proud to be Canadian, and took comfort in feeling that I too, despite not being a soldier, would do the same to protect the people I love and answer the call of duty to vanquish tyranny in the best way I could for Canada and like minded nations.
If you’ve yet to see the Vimy exhibition at the Canadian War Museum, then I’d highly recommend you drop by and give it a look. As you enter the exhibition you’ll be enlightened by Captain William Longstaff’s painting called the “Ghosts of Vimy Ridge” (Pictured below) – one of the best points of imagery I’ve seen in a long time. Next to the painting, and on the wall, you’ll see these inviting words to reflect and discover more…
“After the Battle, Memory Remains. One hundred years ago, Canadians fought a bloody battle at a place called Vimy Ridge in France. No one is alive today with direct memory of the battle or even of the war in which it was fought. But Canadians continue to remember and commemorate the Battle of Vimy Ridge. We erect memorials, we tell and retell stories, we treasure keepsakes, and we participate in public and private rituals.” The exhibition at the Canadian War Museum “sheds light on how and why we commemorate war by exploring private and collective memories of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the First World War, and more recent conflicts.”
“Après la bataille, il en reste le souvenir. Il y a cent ans, les Canadiens ont livré une bataille sanglante à un endroit appelé la crête de Vimy en France. Les témoins directs de cette bataille ou même de la guerre dans laquelle elle s’inscrivait ont tous disparu. Mais les Canadiens et Canadiennes continuent de se souvenir et de commémorer la bataille de la crête de Vimy. Nous érigeons des monuments, nous en racontons et en répétons les récits, nous en gardons précieusement les articles souvenirs et nous prenons part à des rituels publics et privés. Cette exposition met en lumière les raisons pour lesquelles nous commémorons la guerre, et les façons dont nous le faisons, par l’exploration de souvenirs personnels et collectifs de la bataille de la crête de Vimy, de la Première Guerre mondiale et de conflits plus récents.”