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You gave your today for our tomorrow


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#61 Starbug

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 11:14 PM

After going to the Vimy Ridge monument, I then visited the cemeteries and the trenches.

The first cemetery is where the visit really started to get emotional. There are 746 graves here, and many of them read simply "An unknown soldier of the Great War" and "Known unto God" (same as the tombstone at Essex Farms shown in the first post). Couple that with the names I read on the monument...I got teary-eyed.
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At the end of the cemetery:
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I was there 3 weeks after Remembrance Day, and the wreaths were still present. The poppy wreaths had hand-written notes in plastic bags (for preservation) and that is where I got the title for this thread: You gave your today for our tomorrow. Thank you. Reading that was when tears started to fall.
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Much of the grounds haven't been landscaped since the war, and the craters from artillery shelling are still very much visible:
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The trenches have been cleaned up and maintained over the years. It's amazing how beautiful they look now, given what they looked like during the war. The Canadian and German front lines were marked, and I'd had no idea just how close they were. I could have thrown a baseball between the two without any difficulty.
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The only indication of how the trenches once looked:
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Here are the nearby French and German cemeteries. The French and German soldiers were moved to large cemeteries, while British Commonwealth soldiers were buried in smaller cemeteries scattered all over the countryside.

French cemetery, 45 000 graves (right next to another British Commonwealth cemetery):
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German cemetery 50 000 graves:
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I saw these last two places because I got a ride back to town from a local man (retired, I think) who feels so strongly for what Canada did that he spends his days going by the Vimy Ridge train station (knows the schedules by heart, according to the girl working at the interpretive centre) and offering Canadian tourists a ride to the memorial. On the way back to town, he stopped to show me these two places.

So many travelers make use of the fact that Canadians are well-received in Europe but have no idea as to why that is so. It's because of what our nation accomplished in WWI and WWII. Sadly, I think they (Europeans) may have a better appreciation of that than many Canadian citizens do.
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#62 Starbug

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 11:26 PM

Ypres

The lone tombstone in the first post was at the Essex Farm cemetery, right next to the bunkers where McCrae wrote his poem.
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Each of those bunkers shown in the first post open into a tiny little cave that looked like this:
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Some more photos of the Menin Gate - you should be able to get an idea of the size of the monument from these (those are 3 storey buildings in the first image)
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If you look really carefully in this image, you can see a city worker in yellow and black picking up trash (right where the embankment meets the Menin Gate).
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The lines you see on the walls in this image are inscriptions of soldiers' names. What is shown here is only the top portion of the Menin Gate; there's another storey or two dug out of the embankment I was standing on when I took this.
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More inscriptions on the stairs on just one side of the monument:
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Somewhere on one of the staircases (one on each side of the gate) was a section of wall dedicated to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

And in addition to what's listed on the sign next to the monument,
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Soldiers who died in similar circumstances after Aug 15, 1917 are on the Memorial Wall at Tyne Cot Cemetery - that wall contains another 35,000 names of fallen Commonwealth soldiers.
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#63 Avicii

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 11:39 PM

i cried when we toook the time to talk about Remembrance Day in class.. Knowing both my grandfathers were in war..
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#64 16nucks

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 11:48 PM

These pictures are beautiful.
OP>> Great topic, we needed that.

Lest we forget.
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#65 WestCoastCanucks

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 01:02 AM

Beautiful thread.

Lest we Forget.
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#66 canucks.bradley

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 01:54 AM

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this picture is just stunning.
amazing to see how even the most brutal war grounds can turn peaceful

rip
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#67 Starbug

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 12:28 PM

this picture is just stunning.
amazing to see how even the most brutal war grounds can turn peaceful

rip

Indeed. This was also the scene of much fighting (Menin Gate is off to the right of this photo):

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This wall has stood (if I remember correctly) since the 1100's or 1300's. At one point along the wall (beyond the cylindrical structures) it curves back into itself and there's a tunnel that goes down to the water for boats.

Edited by Starbug, 11 February 2009 - 09:24 PM.

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#68 Hockeys1ladie

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 12:38 PM

Completely disagree with that law angle.

I don't feel I should have to display my respect. I'm of the attitude where I can display my appreciation my own way, in my own thoughts. I don't agree with the 'honour our veterans in a matter we tell you because we say so' attitude that such a law would enforce.

For example, I was on the Chilliwack Bruins forum the other day. I said I didn't like how the shoulder patch for the Nov. 11th game looked on a white jersey. I got told basically that I should love it because it signifies Rememberance Day. Sorry, where's the logic in that? Isn't that kind of going AGAINST the freedom that these soldiers put their lives on the line for? If I don't think something looks aesthetically pleasing, no matter what it signifies, I shouldn't have to pretend to think it's beautiful.

Some people take this day too seriously and think that if someone's not done to the tits in terms of showing respect and support, that they're not worthy of being Canadian.

For the record, I'm not trashing Rememberance Day, nor am I not trashing the soldiers and the cause they risked their lives for. I just don't agree with the expectations that is put on me to follow these procedures, show off that I respect them, etc. I just feel that, in Canada, a free nation, I should be able to thank the soldiers myself, in whatever manner I feel without having to put up with other peoples' b/s that I should follow such protocol like wearing a poppy or having to like a certain shoulder patch.

I will be paying my respects to those who have served, who are served, who will be serving for our country - and that's MY choice. I just don't think it should be enforced on a person

[/rant]


You make a good point there...express your respect and thanks any which way you want.

But if you are going to wear a poppy, please wear it on the LEFT side, over your heart. Common sense.
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#69 NGC224

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:05 PM

I really wish I could go to France and visit most of these places.

I have to make do with watching For King & Empire.
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#70 NGC224

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:07 PM

You make a good point there...express your respect and thanks any which way you want.

But if you are going to wear a poppy, please wear it on the LEFT side, over your heart. Common sense.


I wear one (left side), and I work at a gas station that has a donation box with some poppies. I've had a few people take them then proceed to put it on their right side. I thought it was common sense, guess not.
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#71 NGC224

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:12 PM

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae sat at these very bunkers when he penned what is among the best-known poems out there:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I went to school with his great grandson, and I know his parents quite well (John McCraes grandchildren, that is).
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#72 mrsluongo

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:25 PM

Nicely done. Lest we forget.

Thank you.
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#73 Hockeys1ladie

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 05:27 PM

I wear one (left side), and I work at a gas station that has a donation box with some poppies. I've had a few people take them then proceed to put it on their right side. I thought it was common sense, guess not.



Doesn't surprise me...some people just don't get it.
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#74 hlrsr

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:41 PM

An old video we'd be shown every Remembrance Day back in elementary...


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#75 diesel_3

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 07:56 PM

I volunteered to go to a ceremony at Michael A. Kostek Elementary today here in Edmonton as a special guest.

It was a moving ceremony, different grades sang songs and did other stuff, I was the only military member there, so i was a little on the spot.

Having lost a couple buddies in Afghanistan and in training, Remembrance Day is such a great time. Being able to do a little bit of drill and put a wreath near a cross and salute infront of a whole school made me love my job and made the long days out in the field worth it...Love how much people care!
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#76 Harry Palms

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:00 PM

For some reason I'm like the only guy sporting a poppy around the office this year :angry:



OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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#77 NGC224

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:43 PM

Doesn't surprise me...some people just don't get it.


Mineaswell not even wear one.
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#78 WiLBoY

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:11 PM

In flanders field where poppies grow...
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Credit goes to canuckforever00

#79 IndoorCanadianGangMember

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:32 PM

Mineaswell not even wear one.


Come again?

I think you are looking for 'might as well' :o
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#80 NGC224

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:46 PM

Come again?

I think you are looking for 'might as well' :o


Haha, just one of those things. I've always spelled it like that.

Whoops! :lol:
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#81 old_time_hockey

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:03 AM

My Great-Grandfather lived through The Battle of Paschendale. He was gassed but lived through it and fought on. At the end of the war he returned home.

But after a few years the effect of the gas started to show. He couldn't work on his farm anymore. So the Canadian Government retrained him to work as a butcher. However he died at a young age (his 40's IIRC...god I wish my dad was still alive, he knew all this family history). All because of the effects of the gas.

In WWII, his nephew signed up to go fight and was killed on Juno Beach.

Lest We Forget. Tomorrow morning I am waking up early to go pick up our drums and am playing at Richmond City Hall. Oh Canada, God Save the Queen and the Maple Leaf Forever. All 3 send shivers down me.

In days of yore, from Britain's shore
Wolfe, the dauntless hero, came
And planted firm Britania's flag
On Canada's fair domain.
There may it wave, our boast and pride
And join in love together
The thistle, shamrock, rose entwine
The maple leaf forever.

Chorus
The maple leaf, our emblem dear
The maple leaf forever
God save our King and heaven bless
The maple leaf forever.

At Queenston Heights and Lundy's Lane
Our brave fathers side by side
For freedom, homes and loved ones dear
Firmly stood and nobly died
And those dear rights which they maintained
We swear to yield them never
Our watchword ever more shall be
The maple leaf forever.

Our fair Dominion now extends
From Cape Race to Nootka Sound
May peace forever be our lot
And plenteous store abound.
And may those ties of love be ours
Which discord cannot sever
And flourish green o'er freedom's home
The maple leaf forever.

RIP for those who laid their lives down for us. As well as our troops who were trying to keep the peace in a far off land.

And to those who are overseas now...God speed and a safe return home to your family and loved ones!
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#82 triangulate

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:37 AM

great pics starbug

rememberance day here today.

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#83 MegaNuck

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:19 PM

I'm not gonna say the name of my store, but it's the only one at Metrotown that remained closed until 11:15am.

Talk about disrespectful. Most of these retail chains have no class.


and yes, it's MY store.


Thank you to those who gave your life, and hopefully the rest can come home soon

Edited by MegaNuck, 11 November 2008 - 12:19 PM.

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#84 canucks.bradley

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:51 PM

thank you
rip

lest we forget
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#85 Starbug

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 07:52 AM

Here are the nearby French and German cemeteries. The French and German soldiers were moved to large cemeteries, while British Commonwealth soldiers were buried in smaller cemeteries scattered all over the countryside.

French cemetery, 45 000 graves (right next to another British Commonwealth cemetery):

German cemetery 50 000 graves:

I saw these last two places because I got a ride back to town from a local man (retired, I think) who feels so strongly for what Canada did that he spends his days going by the Vimy Ridge train station (knows the schedules by heart, according to the girl working at the interpretive centre) and offering Canadian tourists a ride to the memorial. On the way back to town, he stopped to show me these two places.

So many travelers make use of the fact that Canadians are well-received in Europe but have no idea as to why that is so. It's because of what our nation accomplished in WWI and WWII. Sadly, I think they (Europeans) may have a better appreciation of that than many Canadian citizens do.

I know this is a Remembrance Day thread, but I thought it was a fitting place to put this obituary, especially considering a previous post of mine (above).

The man I knew as Monsieur Devloo, the elderly gentleman who gave me a ride from Vimy Ridge back to town, has passed away. He was considered a grandfather to the Canadian guides working at Vimy Ridge, and the Canadian government has recognized him as a true friend in Remembrance. When I met him, I got the feeling he truly appreciated the sacrifices of all the soldiers who gave up everything to fight in the wars. In turn, he spent his retirement helping Canadians appreciate that same sacrifice.

Canada loses 'one of its truest friends' in Vimy
By Peter O'Neil, Canwest News ServiceFebruary 11, 2009 3:01 AM

The Canadian government paid tribute Tuesday to an elderly French man who used to drive Canadian visitors from the Vimy train station to the memorial marking the famous 1917 Canadian battlefield victory.

Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson said Georges Devloo, who died last Friday at age 85, will be remembered fondly by the hundreds of Canadians who he encouraged to appreciate the sacrifice of their ancestors.

"Canada has lost one of its truest friends in Remembrance," Thompson said in a statement.

"Many Canadians travelling to Vimy by train, who were not always aware that the Vimy Memorial is five kilometres from the village, often found themselves with no means of getting to the memorial. Every day, Mr. Devloo would stop by the train station to pick them up and drive them to the memorial."


Devloo, always wearing a trademark black beret, was known as Vimy's "grandfather" or "grampie" among the young Canadian guides who worked at the site.

"Mr. Devloo provided them with lessons in history, French, and at times driving lessons in his treasured Citroen," according to Thompson.

One of those he charmed was Jessica Larter of Stratford, P.E.I., a former Vimy guide who served as Devloo's translator and guide during part of a 2007 visit to Canada.

"He always came to visit us during the day and bring us waffles and stuff,'' Larter told The Guardian newspaper during the visit. "He is so kind.''

Devloo was a former teacher and basketball coach. His funeral will take place in Vimy on Thursday.

http://www.edmontonj...6105/story.html

Rest in peace, and may your example of remembering sacrifice live on.
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#86 nucklehead

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 08:34 AM

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M. Devloo with Larter in PEI 2007. He looks in very good health here. Il est dommage.

Full story above at: http://www.theguardi...sid=62951&sc=98
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#87 Harbinger

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 04:55 PM

Thankyou to all our Military men and women. You deserve more respect in our country for your bravery.
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#88 Starbug

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:48 PM

M. Devloo with Larter in PEI 2007. He looks in very good health here. Il est dommage.

Full story above at: http://www.theguardi...sid=62951&sc=98

“He feels it is an act of respect because Canada has done so much for him,’’ said Larter, translating after patiently listening to a typically long and animated response from Devloo, watching with amusement as the Frenchman’s hands and arms whip through the air for emphasis.

:lol: He was definitely animated. I don't speak much french, and he didn't speak much english, but he managed to get his points across, usually with lots of hand waving.

In terms of why he spent so much time assisting Canadians in any way he could, from providing rides to french lessons to opening his home to visitors,

He told us it was a mixture of things. When his wife died, he was terribly lonely and had a lot to give still. But there was also something that struck him about Canada. He said he knew how much Canada gave, said he knew, too, that Canada was one of the few countries that gave without asking for anything in return. It wasn't just about war. It was about rebuilding after the war. His deeds, he said, were simply acts of solidarity.

http://www.cbc.ca/wo...-arsenault.html

Last fall, Devloo was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Canada's Minister of Veteran's Affairs at the private Remembrance Day ceremonies on Nov 12.
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http://www.vac.gc.ca...nn_overseas/010

Edited by Starbug, 11 February 2009 - 06:48 PM.

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#89 Dominator_Hasek

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:57 PM

WWI a war of empires for empires... Canada fought for..... actually nvm the truth will upset people....

ill just go along with the rest of the blind sheep and say god bless all the people who fought...
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Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:58 PM

WWI a war of empires for empires... Canada fought for..... actually nvm the truth will upset people....

ill just go along with the rest of the blind sheep and say god bless all the people who fought...


Which banned member were you?
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