Monday, April 09, 2007
I watched the rededication of the Vimy Ridge Monument and was moved. The place where we became a nation, born on Easter Monday 90 years ago, the time of the Resurrection when creation was born anew, it seems so fitting we turned a place of despair into a place of inspiration on that day. It's not only a literal place of mourning and hope, where actual Canadians broached an impenetrable fortress and triumphed where the superpowers of the day failed, it's a metaphorical place, telling us the story of how we as individuals can broach our own impenetrable barriers and be victorious. It's a place where we can look up at "Canada mourns her dead" and be moved by her beauty, the thousands of dead she remembers, and the idea of what we can accomplish as Canadians when faced with a seemingly futile task. It's a place so important that France gave it to us in perpetuity; that the Queen wanted to attend as Queen of Canada to rededicate a monument her uncle King Edward VIII in one of his few royal duties dedicated over 70 years ago; that the Prime Minister of France spoke in English, something the French press says he doesn't do; that our own Prime Minister spoke eloquently and looked like a leader; and that the sun shone down in memory of an icy day and the birds sang in memory of a day filled with cannonfire and cries of death. A day after we lost 6 of our soldiers, we remember that 90 years ago, their ancestors also faced a daunting task and conquered it. We can do that again as a nation and as individuals.