Feeling quite privileged as just arrived in Paris with my hubby and there’s that classic feeling of “Spring in the Air”. We travel well together and connect on a deeper level when we have shared experiences.
We’re in France for both a holiday and a ceremony that my husband and his group has been working on for close to a year now.
Taking place is a ceremony for the repatriation of soil from the Vimy Memorial near Arras, France.
I’ll explain the significance.
In our home city of Barrie, there is revitalization of the downtown core and in it, a statue honouring the service made by members of the military, specifically from our area. Within that is something special and the reason we’re here. (Will share in a moment)
We also have CFB Borden, a large Canadian Forces training facility just a few short miles outside the city. While Borden is a city in its own, its 100th anniversary occurs in June 2016. Prior to Canadian involvement in Vimy, Borden constructed trenches to train the solders heading over to Vimy in 1916-17. As part of 100th Borden celebration, a memorial statue is being built. Embedded in that will be soil from Vimy, while sterilized for environmental reasons, the symbolism of “bringing the essence” of those who died during the Vimy campaign, is profound. The remaining DNA in the earth of those who died, is finally coming home.
Vimy’s 100 celebration will be in 2017. After WW1 France provided this piece of land, in France to Canadians – it’s considered Canadian soil.
As Christmas presents to our kids last year we decided to bring them over to attend some unique celebrations with us along with all those involved in donating to the construction of the statues. They all arrive in a week or so… I’ll update this blog, once attended as I think I’ll be all goosebumps and patriotic.