It's a magnificent memorial towering above the now-peaceful French countryside on a spectacular ridge. And it's the centerpiece of one of the best WW1 battlefield sites with preserved trenches in a park still pock-marked by the deep scars of shelling, planted over with thousands of Canadian trees. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is one of the strongest symbols of Canada's contributions and sacrifices during WW1.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge wasn't just a military victory for the Canadian regiments from across the country who fought together for the first time at Vimy. Many consider the 1917 battle the birth of modern Canada, unified coast to coast, not just a colonial appendage of Britain. WW1 and the Battle of Vimy Ridge changed Canada forever. With a population of less than 8 million people, nearly 650,000 Canadian soldiers served; fully one-tenth of them never returned to Canada, and nearly a third were wounded.
The Vimy memorial gave Canadians of the time – and still today – a symbol of that sacrifice and hope for peace. A visit to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a moving, humbling, enlightening and essential travel experience for Canadians, and everyone who wants to ensure the world never forgets the costs of war.