It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then… that in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation-Brigadier General Alexander Ross, Commander, 28th Battalion, CEF April 9th, 1917
So here we are, less than 48 hours away from a great journey. The excitement, and anxiety, is palpable. On Wednesday, 23 students and 3 teachers from St. Patrick will be departing for an 11-day trip to Europe, the highlight of which will be participation in the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The last week has been insanely busy for all involved; all the last minute planning and meetings tend to be very stressful. On top of that, we have had a lot of media attention on what will be a once in a lifetime trip. On Friday, March 31st, local MPs Patty Hajdu and Don Rusnak came by the school to present travellers from both St. Patrick and St. Ignatius will small gifts for the journey. Also present was Lieutenant-Colonel David Ratz, who is the commanding officer of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment (LSSR). Our students will be visiting graves of soldiers from the 52nd Battalion and the Lake Superior Regiment in Europe, units that are perpetuated by the LSSR today. You can read more about the media conference on TBNewswatch, CBC and the TBT News.
All of the travellers will come home with many great memories from the trip. They will also take home many physical reminders as well. Anyone who visits Vimy Ridge is presented with the Vimy Pilgrimage Medal, which honours not only the sacrifice of those that fought there, but also those who have travelled to pay tribute to the fallen. The medal features the central image of the Vimy Memorial, which is the Spirit of Canada, or Mother Canada, weeping for her fallen sons. The ribbon bears the colors of the 4 Canadian Divisions who fought together at Vimy for the first time; red for the 1st Division, blue for the 2nd Division, grey for the 3rd Division and green for the 4th Division.
Wifi permitting, we will be posting a day-by-day account of our journey on this site. Please follow us as we weave our way through the Netherlands, Belgium and France on this one-in-lifetime journey.