I remember… / Je me souviens…

I was surprised by Oreneta’s comment, about how her Man was upset at the Europeans’ lack of acknowledgement of Canada’s role in WWI and WWII. And I had two things in mind to make it right, one of them not being blogged about. The first thing I had in mind was Netherlands and the tulips they were sending every year to Canada, leading to the beautiful Tulip Festival every year. Canada played a big role in protecting the dutch royal family during WWII, and liberating the Netherlands. I have never been to there, but I assumed from that that they were pretty grateful, judging by what I saw at the tulip festival ;).J’étais surpris par le commentaire d’Oreneta, comme quoi son Homme était énervé par le manque de reconnaissance par les Européens du rôle du Canada dans la Première et Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Et j’avais deux choses en tête pour rectifier le tir, l’une d’entre elles n’étant pas encore bloggées. La première chose que j’avais en tête c’est les pays bas et les tulipes qu’ils envoient tous les ans au Canada, donnant lieu au magnifique Festival des Tulipes tous les ans. Le Canada a joué un grand rôle dans la protection de la famille royale hollandaise pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale, et dans la libération des Pays-Bas. Je n’y suis jamais allé, mais j’en ai dédui qu’ils devaient être plutôt reconnaissant, à en juger par ce que j’ai vu au festival des tulipes 😉

And the second thing was when I was visiting the Citadelle of Québec. According to the guide, sad but true, the canadian army was not acknowledged by Europe as a real army, until the Canadian Corps distinguishes itself, in 1917, at the Vimy Battle. Since 1922, at the battlefield, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial has been erected, and the battlefield has been given by France to Canada.Et la deuxième chose était quand je visitais la Citadelle de Québec. D’après le guide, c’est dommage mais c’est comme ça, l’armée canadienne n’était pas reconnue par l’Europe comme une véritable armée, jusqu’à ce que les Corps Canadiens se distinguent, en 1917, à la Bataille de Vimy. Depuis 1922, sur le champ de bataille, le Mémorial de Vimy a été érigé, et le sol du champ de bataille a été offert par la France au Canada.

After that battle, 4 Victoria crosses were awarded, the highest military decoration in Canada, and France also offered to the Royal 22è Régiment a Vimy cross, that you can see when you enter the Citadelle.

Après cette bataille, 4 Croix de Victoria furent décernées, la plus haute distinction militaire au Canada, et la France offrit aussi au Royal 22è Régiment une croix de Vimy, que vous pouvez voir en entrant dans la Citadelle.

Vimy Cross

And finally, if you look at the Memorial Chapel in the Citadelle, you will see, carved in stone, “Vimy 1917”. All buildings inside the Citadelle have the name of either a battle or a war in which the Royal 22è Régiment earned battle honors. And they got them for winning the Vimy ridge battle 😉

Et finalement, si vous regardez à la Chapelle du Souvenir dans la Citadelle, vous y verrez, gravé dans la pierre, “Vimy 1917”. Tous les bâtiments dans la Citadelle portent le nom d’une bataille ou d’une guerre durant laquelle le Royal 22è Régiment a reçu les honneurs. Et ils les ont reçus pour avoir gagné la bataille de la Crête de Vimy 😉

One of the battle honours earned by the Royal 22è Régiment

So here’s to you, oreneta’s Man. A little more acknowledgement of Canada’s role during the two World Wars ;).

Donc voilà pour vous, l’Homme d’Oreneta. Un peu plus de reconnaissance du rôle du Canada durant les deux Grandes Guerres ;).


12 thoughts on “I remember… / Je me souviens…

  1. The man speaks: the vingt-deux’s (or van-doo’s if your anglo enough) are in Afganistan right now I think….thank you for your interest and acknowledgement of Canadian history. There was a fire in the Citadelle in Quebec recently, was that before or after your visit? I hope not much was destroyed. The British, and worse the American written books about the history of the world wars frequently fail to mention or barely mention the role of Canadians at that time. You are right though, there are many monuments in Europe and the tulip festival to show respect to the Canadian solier’s efforts.

    The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart is also a Canadian historical novel by a fantastic brilliant writer that is centered around the sculptor of the Vimy memorial at Vimy in France…(Oreneta here…that might well be worth reading and I am going to go to the TPL website right now and book it! I LOVE the Toronto library)

    This coming September the opening film for the Toronto Film Festival will be about the role of the Canadian military in WWI, the film is named after the town in Belgium, “Passchendaele”,
    here’s the link to the story http://www.thestar.com/article/444610

    Oreneta here..HEY We’ll still be there, wonder if we can get tickets??? I doubt it for opening night.


  2. Oreneta, haven’t heard of any fire in the Citadelle… everything looked fine when I visited :).

    I don’t know whether or not I’ll be able to get ticket for the TIFF08, haven’t looked at the program yet.

    OH, and thank you 😉


  3. The problem is, even if there are these kinds of signs showing that history is not forgotten, it fades mainly in the people’s minds.

    To make a parralel, a poll showed that 80% of american people thought France had no role whatsoever in the american independance… very far from the “La Fayette, we are here!” by John Pershing…


  4. Pour continuer en anglais, I was absolutely shocked yesterday when my dad (I am in Switzerland right now) wanted to look up something about Canada in the atlas that I used when I was at school here, in Switzerland… and we didn’t find a single map of Canada alone. There was ONE map of North America, and tons of maps of the United States, but no map of Canada or Mexico alone. That reminded me of the weather channels in the US, where they show ONLY the United States on their weather map, while the weather channels in Canada show Canada AND what’s south of the border… No wonder Canada has such a serious issue with self-esteem!


  5. Oh damn, that was me, above, not my dad…

    PS. Orenata, if you find a ticket for that show, PLEASE get me one, I’ll pay you back, promise!!!


  6. I am not really sure that european should really have acknowledgement of Canada or USA’s role in WWI. When those people decided to get involved in the war, they may have good economical reason to do it. Mens never fight for nothing…

    Et aussi :
    Bon anniversaire ! (dsl pour le retard :s)


  7. Willy, While I was visiting Philadalphia’s Independence Hall this week-end, the ranger *did* mention France’s help and contribution to the American independence… I suppose we should send those 80% over there for a little reminder 😉


  8. Amélie, whatever their reasons were, they did succeed in providing help. And I don’t think Canada’s motivations were the same as the US. And unlike more recent wars, the US *did* free us, and we’ve got no oil to give them back. I’m not sure which economical benefit Canada got from helping in WWI and WWII… apart from tulips and gratefulness 🙂


  9. I feel bad that eveyone has slide over into English…my rusty French has been sat on by a load of Catalan…Amelie has a point, nothing like a war for getting out of the depression and ending unemployment. That said, the Canadians signed up within the first few days of the beginning of the war, and it had everything to do with aliances with Europe, especially Great Britian (who used the Canadian soldiers as canon fodder while keeping their troops in safer positions) and not so much to do with finances.

    There are SO many books about geography and history that when you flip to the index and look for Canada, it just doesn´t appear. Ticks you off a bit, but I think at a certain level it was more important that those Canadian troops went and did what they did.

    ON line for the tickets, eh…we can make it a blogger event in TO???

    I´ll be looking too.


  10. Oreneta, don’t feel bad, it’s good that you’re not the only one commenting in english. It’d feel a bit lonely :D.

    Apparently, advanced packages sales start online on July 7th. 🙂


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