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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Canadian National Vimy Memorial

We're in Brussels babysitting my granddaughter Zoë while her parents are house hunting in Los Angeles.

Yesterday we went to see the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on Vimy Ridge, the site of an important battle in April 1917. Thousands of Canadians died in the battle.

Zoë liked climbing on the steps and statues.

There are 11,000 names engraved on the memorial. They represent Canadian soldiers who died in France during World War I and whose remains were never recovered. One of the names is Lance Corporal Robert Alexander Hood (1895 - 1917), a distant cousin of Ms. Sandwalk. He died on April 12, in 1917 during the final days of the battle of Vimy Ridge.

We found his name.


  1. Your readers and Zoe, when she gets older, will enjoy reading Jane Urquhart's novel _The Stone Carvers_ which "explores the devastation of World War I, the building of the Vimy Memorial to commemorate the Canadian war dead in France. . . ."

  2. That hurts all Canadians Aquillo who died in that battle. The history of mankind is full of these things.

  3. It's poignant seeing the face of a little kid climbing on a monument like that; the sadness that caused the monument to be built versus the happy smile of a child playing there, unaware of what it is other than a terrific rock for climbing. Would that we could always have far more of the latter.

  4. I was there in July. When my gf and I decided that we would go to France with her kids in the summer it was the first must-see item.

    As a proud and patriotic Canadian it was a profoundly moving experience. I hope that at least some of that rubbed off on her boys.

    Dean Reimer