The 25th was Vimy Day. We toured around in the Arras sector and ended the day with several hours of touring and discussion at Vimy Ridge.
One of the highlights of the day was Jesse MacLeod's presentation on his great grandfather Sergeant Major John MacLeod who was killed during fighting around Arras in 1917. As Jesse candidly shared, the tragedy of Sergeant Major MacLeod's death inevitably lead to his birth and has intrinsically connected him to a man he is generations removed from.
On a personal note, while at Vimy I took an hour to myself and visited Cimetiere Canadien NO 2. half way up the ridge. On the way I was struck by the juxtaposition that now exists on the ridge encapsulated by the sheep of Vimy, gently sleeping and grazing in shell holes. The Cemetery was a sobering experience as the majority of soldiers buried there, over 2,100, are unknown.
Also while at Vimy I had the honor of photographing my friend's great great grandfather's memorial, Private James Lane who was killed at Courcelette in 1916. Private Lane was listed as missing in action and then KIA but his body was never found and he is now listed on the Vimy memorial.
It was one of the most touching moments I have experienced on my many trips to European battlefields.