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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Mémorial de Vimy

Mémorial de Vimy

Parc Mémorial Canadien, Chemin des Canadiens, RD55, 62580 Vimy

RELIGIONS Judaism, Catholic, Protestant, Islam


The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a war memorial site dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War. It also serves as the place of commemoration for Canadian soldiers of the First World War killed or presumed dead in France who have no known grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 100-hectare (250-acre) preserved battlefield park that encompasses a portion of the ground over which the Canadian Corps made their assault during the initial Battle of Vimy Ridge offensive of the Battle of Arras. Next to the Canadian monument, The Moroccan Division Memorial is dedicated to the memory of the French and Foreign members of the Moroccan Division, killed during the Second Battle of Artois in May 1915.
The project took designer Walter Seymour Allward eleven years to build. King Edward VIII unveiled it on 26 July 1936 in the presence of French President Albert Lebrun and a crowd of over 50,000 people, including 6,200 attendees from Canada. Following an extensive multi-year restoration, Queen Elizabeth II re-dedicated the monument on 9 April 2007 at a ceremony commemorating the 90th anniversary of the battle. The site is maintained by Veterans Affairs Canada. The Vimy Memorial is one of only two National Historic Sites of Canada located outside the country, the other being the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle as a cohesive formation, and it became a Canadian national symbol of achievement and sacrifice. France ceded to Canada perpetual use of a portion of land on Vimy Ridge on the understanding that Canada use the land to establish a battlefield park and memorial. Wartime tunnels, trenches, craters, and unexploded munitions still honeycomb the grounds of the site, which remains largely closed off for reasons of public safety. Along with preserved trench lines, several other memorials and cemeteries are contained within the park. By the way, Canadian National Vimy Memorial has a great historical value, in 2016, the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau came with the french president François Hollande to pay tribute and honor the memory of the fighters for the centenary of the battle. The Moroccan Division Memorial was raised by veterans of the division and inaugurated on 14 June 1925, having been built without planning permission. Excluding the various commemorative plaques at the bottom front facade of the memorial, campaign battles are inscribed on the left- and right-hand side corner view of the memorial.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is more than important for the memory of the canadian soldiers during the firts world war. The memorial pays tribute to the memory of fallen Canadian soldiers, regardless of their religious denominations. Many Canadian soldiers of all faiths (Catholic, Jewish, Protestant) are buried in nearby military cemeteries. The memorial is a place of sharing, of recollection, it is a symbol of interreligious respect and peace. The Moroccan Division was initially raised as the Marching Division of Morocco. The division comprised units of varying origins and although the name would indicate otherwise, it did not in fact contain any units originating from Morocco. Moroccans were part of the Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion which was formed from the merger of the 2nd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment with the 2nd Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment, both also part of the Moroccan Division Brigades. The division contained Tirailleurs and Zouaves, of principally Tunisian and Algerian origin, and most notably Legionnaires from the 2nd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment and the 7th Algerian Tirailleurs Regiment. The French Legionnaires came, as attested to by a plaque installed on the memorial, from 52 different countries and included amongst them American, Polish, Russian, Italian, Greek, German, Czechoslovakian, Swedish, Armenian, various nationals of the Jewish faith, and Swiss volunteers such as writer Blaise Cendrars.
The religious influences of this site are that it advocates a respect how between all religions. The freedom fighters who fell in battle come from many different religious denominations. Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Muslims fought for the same cause, and this is how these monuments were erected, in order to respect and perpetrate this respect, and especially the equalities between men, between soldiers whatever their religious beliefs. These monuments have been sources for generations of respect between religions.
The students could enjoy visits of the memorial of Vimy. They can make a direct visit which can be made by guides, and they also can make a classroom activity which are often made by the colleges and high schools of the region.


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      Monument aux morts de la division marocaine.
      The Moroccan Division's Monument to the Dead, erected on Vimy Ridge near the Canadian Memorial, recalls the battles fought during the May 9, 1915 offensive and perpetuates the memory of the Moroccan Division. This division included during the offensive four regiments of the African army: the 2nd marching regiment of the 1st foreign regiment, the 4th Regiment of March of Tirailleurs, the 7th Regiment of March of Tirailleurs and finally the 8th Regiment of March of Zouaves. This monument describes the fraternity of soldiers from different religious denominations, and by the way, respect and interreligious dialogue.



    • Le Mémorial de Vimy.
      This site describes the history of the construction, the inauguration, as well as the various tributes rendered by the Canadian people.

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    This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.