Our final day in Paris before we all parted ways was amazing! We some fascinating areas of Paris, both on the Bateau Mouche, boat tour along the Seine River, as well as the First World War gallery at Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides, and Sacre Coeur and surroundings in Montmartre.
These past two weeks have been unbelievable! I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to travel to Europe and to learn about the First and Second World Wars with 19 fascinating people (BVP scholars and chaperone-facilitators).
One hundred years ago, Canadian soldiers were dying on the battlefields across Belgium and France. Because of the 2016 BVP program, I have learned many things that I never could have learned otherwise and through a first-hand experience.
Watching the sun go down at the Vimy Memorial in France and feeling the waves crash against my legs at Juno Beach has made me so thankful for those brave souls who sacrificed so much in the name of our country. These experiences have made me proud of my heritage; I am so proud to be Canadian.
I honestly do not have the words to say what I am feeling at the moment, so I will end this blog post with a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this experience possible and the words, “we will remember them.”
– Emily Oakes, Gueph, Ontario
Now that I have been distanced by a few hours and a few thousand kilometres from the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize and my fellow scholars, I can say with certainty something that I expected all along: what happens in BVP doesn’t stay in BVP. It is doubtful that I will have the stamina to have such ferocious and intense passion for remembrance as I had for these two weeks, but that is okay: I simply must be able to ignite it and keep it burning whenever I start to feel far away from all of the brave men and women who fought and gave their lives for my country during the World Wars.
The BVP scholarship is history-focused, without a doubt. But it also has left me and my fellow scholars with a fantastic wealth of knowledge about the world that we live in today as well as inspiration for the future. The program may be over, but BVP isn’t, and therein lies the fundamental reason why BVP is so much more than just an educational trip to Europe.
- Abby Vadeboncoeur, Regina, Saskatchewan