As Canada turns 150, we also celebrate the anniversary of another important part of our history: the Canadian involvement in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Earlier this year a group of former Canadian military pilots lead by Dale Erhart participated in a fly-over of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in honor of its 100th anniversary. These pilots are now starting a six-month journey to bring the story of Vimy across the country.
On April 9th 1917, Easter Monday, the Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought in blizzard conditions between Canadian and German forces. It was in this battle (just 50 years after we became a country) that Canada proved they were an offensive force and captured the ridge from the German army. Basically, it’s when we showed the world that we weren’t just Baby Britain, we were our own grown-up country. So yeah, we’re pretty proud of it.
Erhart and Vimy Flight want to share the story of those who fought in the battle, the air forces in particular, with the whole country. In May they started a six-month cross-continental journey to do just that. Ten pilots will fly WWI-era replica bi-planes to several locations across Canada, share stories from the battle, display the aircraft and host special events. You can see their full itinerary (and check if they’ll be stopping near you) here.
The team is also planning a special Canada Day stop in Ottawa on July 1st to celebrate 150 in the nation’s capital. So keep your eyes to the skies, Canadians, you just might see a giant flying tribute to our Canadian heritage.