Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Vimy Ridge Canadian Cemetery, France

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a memorial site in France dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War. It also serves as the place of commemoration for First World War Canadian soldiers killed, or presumed dead, in France that have no known grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 250-acre (100 ha) preserved battlefield park that encompasses a portion of the grounds over which the Canadian Corps made their assault during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a military engagement fought as part of the Battle of Arras.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first occasion whereupon all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle as a cohesive formation, and thus became a Canadian nationalistic symbol of achievement and sacrifice. In recognition of Canada's war efforts, France granted Canada perpetual use of a portion of land on Vimy Ridge under the understanding that the Canadian use the land to establish a battlefield park and memorial. Wartime tunnels, trenches, craters and unexploded munitions still honeycomb the grounds of the site, which remains largely closed off for public safety. Along with preserved trench lines, there are a number of other memorials and cemeteries contained within the site.

Photograph taken by Morag who wrote: "This is taken from an rather unusual, can see the spirit of Canada looking down on  - I always think she is crying for the young of the nation.she is looking over the Douai plain - the Canadians of course took this ridge in April 1917 and because they claim nationhood was forged in the blood shed here they chose this site for the national memorial".

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