July 26th marks the anniversary of the unveiling of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Exactly 80 years ago today, over 50,000 Canadian, British, and French Veterans and their families gathered to witness King Edward VIII unveil Canada’s monument to her fallen soldiers.
In the months leading up to the ceremony, the Royal Canadian Legion organized a massive Canada-wide pilgrimage. The voyage to Europe was funded by veteran organizations across the country and allowed veterans and their families to return to a place of such personal and historical significance for the first time since the end of the War in 1918. Additionally, the Government of Canada offered veterans in the civil service over 2 weeks of paid leave, and special Vimy Passports were even created specifically for this occasion.
Although not the first Canadian pilgrimage to visit the Battlefields of Europe, the Pilgrimage of 1936 was one of the largest. Today, the tradition of visiting sites so significant to our countries history continues: thousands of Canadians complete “The Ultimate Canadian Pilgrimage” every year by visiting both the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Juno Beach Centre.
To learn more about “The Ultimate Canadian Pilgrimage,” visit our Plan a Trip Page.