For stu­dents, vis­it­ing Vimy is a lifechang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Canada's History - - VIMY 100 - by Kate Jaimet

Jo­ce­lyn Davis will never for­get the emo­tional im­pact of vis­it­ing the Cana­dian Na­tional Vimy Memo­rial in France. Davis trav­elled there in 2013 as one of the win­ners of the Vimy Pil­grim­age Award for stu­dents aged four­teen to seven­teen. The week-long ed­u­ca­tional trip takes them to First World War sites in Bel­gium and France.

Davis (sec­ond from left in photo above) said walk­ing through the trenches at the Vimy bat­tle­field made her feel con­nected to the sol­diers who fought there.

“To see that so many ca­su­al­ties were in­flicted to gain so little ter­ri­tory — it was such a point­less war. I knew that, but it re­ally brought it home,” said Davis, who is now twenty. “That kind of deep emo­tional con­nec­tion I felt bridged the cen­tury be­tween those men and me.”

The Vimy Pil­grim­age Award is one of two schol­ar­ship pro­grams of­fered an­nu­ally by the Vimy Foun­da­tion. The award rec­og­nizes “the ac­tions of young peo­ple who demon­strate out­stand­ing ser­vice, pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions, notable deeds, brav­ery or leadership.” Ap­pli­cants must write a five-hun­dred-word let­ter out­lin­ing the rea­sons why they are wor­thy of the award.

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