Robert Alexander Hood1 was born in 1895 in a small village north-west of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He went to France in 1916 when he was only 21 years old. Robert fought with the 73rd Battalion and he was killed in action at Vimy Ridge on this day, April 12, in 1917.
Canadians "celebrate" the battle of Vimy Ridge as a great Canadian victory. It was part of the larger Battle of Arras, which in turn was a diversionary attack in support of the larger Nivelle Offensive carried out by the French Army. About 3,600 young Canadian men were killed during the four day battle and 7,000 more were wounded. This is just a small fraction of the casualties on both sides during World War I.
We need to be very careful not to glorify war while remembering all those young mean and women who died in a war that never should have been fought. I will eventually go to Arras and visit the large memorial erected by the Canadian government (see below) but I will do it in order to reinforce my view that war is folly and the deaths of soldiers like Robert Alexander Hood should never have happened.
There is never any glory in war and it's nothing we should ever be proud of.
1. He was a cousin of Ms. Sandwalk's grandfather.