Yesterday was an emotional day for a lot of us. Visiting Vimy was an experience I never thought I would have in my lifetime; however, it was emotional in more ways then one.
Part of our assignment for this PD is creating a soldier profile. We are given a name and it is up to us on how to present our soldier. We have immersed ourselves in these files, finding letters, war diaries from our service man's battalion, pictures etc. For most of us it has been an overwhelming experience. You come to know these men whose graves we visit, and we begin to feel as though we know them. I know at the end of mine I teared up a little. You spend so much time researching you can't help but feel a connection.
Many of us have found personal and community connections to our soldiers. Some have done it on the solider their school is named after, others great-uncles and to see their graves, row on row or some even where they fell on the battlefield.
We have visited various different graves and vastly different presentations have unfolded. Mine was a history of the battle, which I knew nothing about about, whereas others have done it as a first person narrative or an entry in a diary. We have even had a shot of Whiskey in honour of one at his grave.
To say connections haven't been forged has been a lie. Many connections have been made between the past and present in these cemeteries that span the regions of France and Belgium where the wars were fought. As we enter into our second week of study, I look forward to hearing more of these stories and making more connections with men whose memory will live on forever through us.
- Submitted by Jessica