Tag Archives: commemoration; memory; Canada; military history

Reflections on the First World War

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By Eric Story, Brittany Dunn and Alexander Maavara Anniversaries invite reflection. Regardless of historians’ tendency to hastily dismiss commemorations or celebrations of the past as pesky purveyors of myth, these events nonetheless generate discussion––sometimes informed, other times less so––about history. The centenary of the First World War was no different. Between 2014 and 2018, people around the world engaged in… Read more »

We need to stop talking about Vimy

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Jonathan Weier As a historian of Canada’s involvement in the First World War I get awfully tired of talking and writing about the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Especially tiresome is the intellectual work of critiquing the reification of Vimy’s nationalist mythology, a topic that seems to come up annually when its anniversary rolls around. The Vimy mythology has an enduring… Read more »

Art, Religion, & Iconography in the Vimy Memorial: An Overview

In recognition of Remembrance Day 2017, the Canada’s First World War series on ActiveHistory.ca is pleased to publish this article by Laura Brandon, a former curator and historian at the Canadian War Museum. In the year of the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Brandon’s piece sheds light on the design and meaning of the enormous monument to that battle… Read more »

National Disunity and the Meaning of Vimy Ridge

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By Matt Barrett Attempting to identify the historical significance of Vimy Ridge for the general public, many historians, writers and politicians have often resorted to a nationalistic framework that depicts the battle as a vital step in the creation of an independent Canada. From April 9th to 12th 1917, the four Canadian Divisions fought together for the first time and… Read more »

Vimy Ridge and Canadian Nationalism

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By Walter Klaassen Several weeks ago the CBC National News offered a film clip of the President of France, Francois Hollande, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel standing together at the site commemorating the 1916 Battle of Verdun.  It has been called the biggest battle in history.  It lasted for 300 days and resulted in 300,000 French and German dead. … Read more »