Today was a “different” kind of day. It wasn’t a bad day, it was actually an amazing day. But a day that hits heavy on the heart..
First stop was Vimy Ridge. I did not want to go. John had already been more than once, and going back to me was a waste when he had just been there the week before. I am very glad he insisted on going anyways and not letting us bypass if – shhhh, don’t tell him I said that 😉
First stop where we parked was the monument. You literally see the monument while driving, over two kilometers away – it is huge. When standing right in front of it, it’s one amazing thing to see! The magnitude of a war monument is something I was not expecting. The details were stunning.
After walking around, we headed to the information center to see the museum. We thought it was paid, so we were only going to do the tour if the price was right – turns out a free price is worth the tour! I am glad we did it – even if it ended up being paid. The tour guides are Canadian students who work at the war monuments for the summer. Our tour guide, Victoria, was great! She really got our minds in the zone of, imagine you are an 18yr old soldier going down into the tunnels, ready to come out and almost “expect” to die. It was much more emotional than I was expecting. She brought us into the tunnels where the soldiers emerged on April 9, 1917. You can literally see he initials of soldiers down there, leaving their marks behind. Even though Canada was victorious during this battle, there were still 10,000 causalities, 3,598 which were killed. We saw the trenches where our soldier hid, and were able to climb one area and literally look out onto the battlefield. I said it was an emotional tour, but emotional doesn’t even explain it. I have never gotten goosebumps during a tour before, but this one did it. Maybe it’s the profession my husband is in, maybe it’s the fact that I can feel for every single scared soldier coming out of the tunnels ready for battle, but I feel something strong.
Next stop was another emotional one, which was Juno Beach. Juno Beach is where D-Day happened. This was much more surprising than I was expecting. There is a museum which we didn’t have time for (we got there 40 mins before closing), but would have been nice. You can also visit the bunkers during a tour.
The surprising part, but I was expecting for the beach to be a closed off area; but when we got close, beach goers were literally swimming in the water. I don’t know what I was expecting exactly, but for some reason, that wasn’t it. I did end up walking into the water and seeing how it felt to be standing where so many Canadians were killed – and again, it was a very weird feeling. To be standing in the exact spot was something. I am no history buff (failed countless history classes), but after today, I can certainly see why war is an important part of our history, and why so many are intrigued by it.
I hugged my kids hard after this day – emotions were running high. I can only imagine how moms and dads felt with their kids enlisting just to be part of these wars! I only wish I never have to feel this way. I hope this world does not have to come to that! But if my kids were to EVER feel the need to enlist to help our country, no matter how scared I would feel, proudness would always come first!!!! ❤