Vimy Ceremonies Disappointing
I can’t help but be negative regarding the CBC telecast covering the Vimy ridge ceremonies held in France on the 100th anniversary of Canada’s greatest hour on a foreign battle field. As I watched the event unfold I became more and more agitated wondering when the show business was going to be replaced by some actual celebration of the thousands of lives that were lost on those fields of mud and blood. I do have a thing about being blunt when it comes to politics and religion and so here I go to not be politically correct. There was far too much French content to suit me and my Anglo outlook. Let’s face it, yes, the French- Canadian participation in that battle was evident. Christie Blatchford’s piece in the National Post April 10th showed that out of 40 regiments at Vimy, only two were from Quebec and four from Montreal. Six in total. Quebec’s population in 1917 was certainly large enough to support a much larger force. Quebec City had riots in the streets when Borden introduced conscription in May of 1917. Many French Canadians were in no mood to support Canada in Europe and yet the ceremonies on Sun. April 9th would indicate that this day in 1917 was a day of French Canadian victory.
None of the 40 regiments were mentioned and certainly from my vantage point in front of the TV I did not see their colours or a guirdon (which the armoured regiments carry in lieu of a colour). Nor did we hear their bands or see them represented on parade. Lots of French language songs and dancing, arm waving and dialogue (much without any translation). I was born less than 20 years after this horrible battle and have memories of stories told me by those who were a part of that war. I saw very little that represented those stories in the TV show.
Our politicians love to take credit for the victory’s that our soldiers have in the name of just doing their job. The politicians make grand speeches while all the time they are reducing budgets and gutting our forces. At present, we have a Prime Minister whose father many times did not even turn up for our warriors, and on Sunday, Justin could not resist turning what should have been a somber religious day of reflection to just another photo op, waving to his audience like the child he is.