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Vimy Ridge

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#41 AllseeingEye



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Posted 09 April 2017 - 09:24 PM

Anyone who watched even a small portion of today's ceremonies and still can't fathom or "get" the significance of Vimy clearly has very little appreciation for contemporary Canadian History.


Listening to the words of the Canadian veterans and in particular the words of the thousands of Canadian high school students visiting the memorial at Vimy and watching their emotions as they began to understand the power of that place, was both heart warming and gratifying as they began to understand the sacrifices that people - not much older than they are now - made at that time and place in defence of this nation.


The US Civil War? Really? Why should I care beyond pure historical curiosity: that is for Americans to ponder and dwell upon.


As a Canadian Vimy is an infinitely more powerful and seminal event and a symbol of youthful sacrifice; whether it was as critical to creating a sense of a more independent Canada is a matter for debate, however if you still don't "get" it after today's moving ceremonies, I suspect you never will understand the true impact its significant insofar as this country is concerned. Fortunately many others do.

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#42 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 05:45 AM

^ that might be all true, but the battle was a blip.  It was insignificant in terms or strategy or results really.  No historian will say this helped speed up or end the war, or save further casualties, like say, D-Day was a tuning point in WW2.  Even the new tactics employed were more intensive and costly that could actually be sustained at other battles.

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#43 Rob Randall

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 06:16 AM

It's all about the monument. 


The mythology grew following the construction of the awe-inspiring twin pylons of the Vimy memorial. Even Hitler was a fan, assigning SS guards to make sure it wasn't damaged during the German occupation.


The battle faded into relative obscurity until the 50th anniversary commemoration, after that. Vimy entered the school curriculum as a turning point in Canada's part in the war. From then on Vimy became an important symbol of Canadian identity and a tangible way to direct our grief as the combatants began dying of old age.


We need Vimy, as a symbol and as a historical event. The US has Valley Forge and D-Day, England has Waterloo. Canada needed something and now we have Vimy. 

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#44 johnk

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:23 PM

I'm all for it but it the media blitz seems to be a bit of manufacturing "nation-building", similar to the making of hockey into national culture.
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#45 tedward

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 08:07 AM

^ LOL, the nation-building myth of Vimy is not new.


Vimy at 100: Myth vs. Reality

Listen to Full Episode 54:00

It's been a century since Canada's bloody victory at Vimy Ridge during World War One. Since then, Vimy has become synonymous with the birth of Canada as a nation. But historian Tim Cook, author of Vimy: The Battle and the Legend, peels back the layers of myth-making around Vimy to reveal its complex -- at times contradictory -- history: how the celebrated victory was of little military significance, how it's barely mentioned in Quebec textbooks, and how it took fifty years before the myth-making really gathered momentum. In a public talk delivered at the Canadian War Museum, he speaks about the enduring strength of Vimy as a national symbol.


Ideas webpage >>


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#46 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 08:27 AM

another monday, another blog update on the battle


#47 amor de cosmos

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:18 AM

i've lost count of how many more there will be of these. this latest one is on the commemoration and the alleged myth-making:

In the days following the battle of Vimy Ridge, newspaper headlines throughout the allied countries proclaimed that Canada’s soldiers had captured an objective that had long-seemed impossible. Families of those in uniform greeted the news with excitement and worry; as one father wrote to his son who had fought at Vimy: “The press are giving the Canucks great praise. They certainly had the place of honour, but according to the casualties, they are paying a price for it.” Over 10,000 Canadians had been killed or wounded.


Edited by amor de cosmos, 19 April 2017 - 07:20 AM.

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#48 amor de cosmos

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:40 AM

about the war art


#49 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 11:31 AM

The Battle of Vimy Ridge has become a Canadian myth, and citizens of modern Canada should be wary of how it influences their political present, says author Jamie Swift.

Swift, co-author of The Vimy Trap, argues the battle — touted as a triumphant, seminal, founding moment for Canada — has formed a simplistic, even dangerous ethos he and co-author Ian McKay call “Vimy-ism.”

“And we argue Vimy-ism is this toxic form of military-based, Canadian patriotism,” Swift said in a telephone interview. “It’s all: ‘Canadians do great things fighting together and winning.’ We argue the reality is much more complex and nuanced.”


- See more at: http://www.timescolo...h.WQo2igWz.dpuf

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#50 spanky123

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 09:40 AM

I met a lady (American) the other day whose father fought as an infantryman in Vietnam and her grandfather spent most of WW2 in a Japanese prison camp after the fall of Corregidor. I suspect that the families of many of the survivors of Vimy Ridge experienced the same sacrifices. The war never ended for them.


I have no problems honouring the heroism and sacrifice that those men and women faced, but I object to using them and the battle to justify future wars.

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