Today, our BVP 2018 recipients visited the Amiens Cathedral in the morning. In the afternoon, the students travelled to Dieppe and met with member of the French Resistance, Jean Caillet. Later, the group did a memorial walk through Dieppe, walked along Red Beach and White Beach and saw Blue Beach and Green Beach. In the evening, the students attended a Vigil for the 76th anniversary of the Dieppe Raids and took part in the honour guard at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery. (Please note: students will blog in their language of preference).
Today we transitioned from studying the First World War to the Second World War by visiting a cemetery with soldiers from both wars. I was excited to meet a member of the French Resistance, Jean Caillet, in Dieppe and felt grateful to have had this opportunity. I found the seminar to be extremely engaging because he was open to all of our questions. As he explained his role in the French Resistance, I was able to understand the implications people faced personally during the war. He spoke about his experiences in a manner that allowed me to understand as much as I possibly could about the emotions and hardships he went through. He also discussed his time as a prisoner in Spain which gave me another perspective of the difficulties faced during the war. I felt significantly more connected with the world wars when I was able to engage with someone who had witnessed and participated in one himself. I’m looking forward to speaking to veterans during Dieppe ceremonies tomorrow and learning about the personal aspect of the war.
Ghalia Aamer, Edmonton AB
Pour moi, ce jour a été très important. Nous avons rencontré Jean Caillet, résistant français durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. J’étais vraiment très honorée, venant de la France c’était vraiment quelque chose de marquant pour moi. Je le remercie, de nous avoir partagé quelques bouts de sa vie. Je le remercie pour sa générosité et son envie de perpétuer sa mémoire et celle de tous les soldats ayant combattu pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Ce fut vraiment un moment magique ! Nous avons pu également participer à la cérémonie commémorative de Dieppe. Cela était vraiment émouvant. Ils ont déposé une rose sur chaque tombe canadienne et allumé plusieurs flambeaux. Cette journée était superbe ! Merci la Fondation Vimy !
Cassandre Onteniente, Bessières FRANCE
Visiting Dieppe was an amazing day. I was drawn in as soon as I stepped foot on the rocky beaches of Red Beach. It’s sad to think of the lives lost on that raid, but at the same time I can’t help but feel a sense of pride. Seeing the landscape, hearing the sounds and feeling the burn of my muscles as we explored the terrain truly put the event into perspective for me.
Later today, the ceremony we attended only added to my feeling of pride. Only with it, I felt the spark of respect I feel for the French people grow into a raging inferno. For those people to commemorate the fallen Canadian soldiers yearly only adds to the swelling high I am still experiencing even as I write this blog post.
The history in Dieppe made me truly see how Canadians aided their allies during the Second World War. To annually remember the fallen of a foreign nation for attempting to liberate your community and to allow the erection of multiple monuments shows how thankful this one town is that we tried to do what we thought was right. Dieppe has won a place in my heart and I can only hope to experience this town again after the program concludes.
Hannah Rogers, Kinkora PEI