Over 150 government officials, business leaders, military personnel, and students attended the ninth annual Vimy Reception at the stunning Embassy of France on Vimy Day, April 9. Thank you to our host, Her Excellency Kareen Rispal, Ambassador of France to Canada, and to our guest speakers: R.H. Thomson, President of The World Remembers, and Katie Quinn, 2018 Vimy Pilgrimage Award winner. The generous hospitality of the Government of France, combined with the opportunity to share many personal stories about Vimy, made for a memorable experience.
“While visiting museums, monuments, and cemeteries in Belgium and northern France, what hit me hardest was knowing that we were in the exact same places where a century ago soldiers, many of whom were my age, lived, fought, and in some cases ultimately gave their lives. Each of them was there for a reason, each of them had their own story, and each of them left an indelible mark on Canadian and world history. Precisely one year ago today, I was standing in front of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial with my peers and chaperones, all of us walking in silence through the mist and around the memorial. We could hardly see through all the fog which created a ghost-like atmosphere; the past felt like it was right there for us to reach out and grab a hold of.”
— Katie Quinn, 2018 Vimy Pilgrimage Award
This year’s reception was the first we have hosted on Vimy Ridge Day itself, April 9. Public awareness of Vimy has grown significantly since the Government of Canada formally declared “Vimy Ridge Day” in 2003, and we are so pleased to be able to provide opportunities for Canadians to take part in its commemoration each year.
Thank you to Evan Runge for the beautiful violin music. Thank you to the 137 Ashbury Royal Canadian Dragoons Army Cadets who were able to join us again this year.
Thank you to our sponsors of the 2019 Vimy Reception: