Janci P.

Niagara on the Lake, Ontario

District School Board of Niagara

The Battle of Vimy Ridge

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was one of Canada's most triumphant military feats. After weeks of training and preparation, the Canadians succeded in capturing Vimy Ridge, a task the British and French had failed to do. At the time of this battle in 1917, Canada was not recognized as an independent country, however, this battle changed that. Vimy Ridge is known as the birth of a nation because this is when Canada's military capability was first recognized by other nations.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

Many people have heard of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, but very few people understand how much of an impact planes made to this battle. They took pictures that were pieced together to form maps, and for the first time in history, every single soldier received a map. This was a huge technological advance for the time because the Canadians were actually prepared for what they were going into. I also found it interesting how when the Canadians encountered the obstacle of the German forces shooting down on them, they decided to balance the scale by controlling the sky above the battlefield, so they could also now shoot down on the Germans.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Canada was a new country at the time of the war, however, many Canadians eagerly enlisted for the war. This shows how much the Canadians wanted to prove themselves and make a difference in the war effort. But more importantly, they wanted to help others and they joined because they knew it was the right thing to do. When the Canadian troops got to Vimy Ridge, they weren't overconfident or arrogant, they knew it would take a lot of training and hard work to capture the ridge. This is why the Canadians could take the ridge, it wasn't because they were stronger than the British or French, it was because of their hard work to make this attack a success.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

As a second-generation immigrant, I have almost nothing in common with the people I researched from 1917. I've never been in a world war, and I've never been sent to another country to fight. However I am well aware that my life in Canada is much more peaceful than theirs was, and I acknowledge that it is because of the people from history that have fought for the next generations of Canadians. I think there is only one similarity between me and the people in my topic, and this is the sense of nationalism. Every time the Canadian anthem plays, I stand with pride, just as I know the people from 1917 did.