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Proud to be a Canadian!

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I hope everyone has had a great week back from the November break!

November always holds a solemn tone to it with Remembrance Day ceremonies taking place at all of our schools. While I always appreciate the invitations to these important events, I was unfortunately unable to attend any this year, as I was provided the opportunity to travel to France during the week of Nov. 5-12 through EF Tours.

Throughout the week, I had the privilege to visit historic sites such as Juno Beach where Canadian soldiers landed as part of Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944.  To walk on the beach, climb through bunkers and hear stories about the heroes who served our country was both humbling and inspiring.

On Remembrance Day, I had the distinct privilege of attending a ceremony and being a part of laying a Wreath at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.  Walking through the trenches, exploring the tunnels and seeing the impact to the landscape from the First World War really made me mindful of the degree of sacrifice that was paid by the soldiers and their families as they knew their chances of coming home alive were slim.

While in France I was involved in multiple conversations with local people about their views on Canada who all lavished praise on our country, thanked me for our country’s part in the liberation of France and for the impact our country’s service has had on their quality of life.  As I had those conversations I couldn’t help but reflect on how sincere and passionate they were about their praise and how I in many ways, I have taken for granted the history of my country and do not overtly exhibit the same kind of thankfulness.

This reflection is the reason for my post this month.  As Canadians, we need to be ever mindful of the sacrifices that have been paid by the generations that preceded us.  I have never been as proud to be Canadian as I was during my time in France and I feel privileged to have been provided with the opportunity to see, hear, touch and experience first-hand the history of our country.  It is imperative that the history of the service of our country is passed from our generation to the next as it is a reminder of how humanity in the pursuit of what seems good can go so wrong.

The photos below capture some of the memorable sights that I had the opportunity to visit, including the Juno Beach Centre, the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery and Vimy Ridge.

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