Lifestyle(Archives)

May
23
2017
Volume
5-4

A Cadet Journey To France - 2803 Fort McMurray, Royal Canadian Army Cadets travel to Europe to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge

Captain Lynn Lesko, Commanding Officer, 2803 Fort McMurray RCACC
BY Captain Lynn Lesko, Commanding Officer, 2803 Fort McMurray RCACC —  comments
(1 Vote)

Boots and brass polished, and berets formed just right.  On April 9, 2017, 17 young men and women of 2803 Fort McMurray, Royal Canadian Army Cadets, proudly represented Fort McMurray at the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France.  The trip was the culmination of 16 months of fundraising and high visibility in the community.  The cadets were accompanied by five officers and staff, and six parents and family members.

The cadets were in good company on April 9 – over 25,000 other cadets, students, and patriotic Canadians from across the country, also made the pilgrimage to the historic commemoration.

“The opportunity to be present at such a significant commemoration was one of my proudest moments as a Canadian” said Captain Lynn Lesko – Commanding Officer of the Fort McMurray Army Cadets.

The cadets partnered with EF Educational Tours Canada to make the two-year dream in planning, a reality.  Recognizing the importance of the event to cadets and students across the country, EF developed and offered a number of 7 to 10-day itineraries, with a focus on World War I Canadian battlefields, with additional opportunities to visit World War II locations.

For the cadets and travelers of 2803, the 10-day trip began with touch-down and a walking tour of Paris, followed by a day at famed Juno Beach in Normandy.  The cadets then relocated to France’s Vimy Region to participate in the 100th Anniversary commemoration, and take in visits to World War i battlefields: Ypres, Arras, and Beaumont-Hamel.  In Ypres, the cadets laid a wreath at the Menin Gate, Last Post Ceremony which has been taking place every evening at 8:00 p.m. since the Menin Gate Memorial was opened in 1927.

From Vimy Region the cadets travelled to Groesbeek, The Netherlands, home to Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.  Here, the cadets had the honour of being inspected by the Mayor (Burgemeester) of the Municipality of Berg en Dal (formerly Town of Groesbeek), along with the Municipality’s police chief and fire chief.  The cadets laid a wreath at the cemetery’s Cross of Sacrifice, accompanied by a bag-piper from the 48th Highlanders of Holland Pipes & Drums.  

In a poignant address to the cadets, Burgemeester Mark Slinkman recognized the core values of the cadet program, including leadership, physical fitness and good citizenship.  Burgemeester Slinkman also recognized the trials the cadets and their families went through during the 2016 Wildfire.  Burgemeester Slinkman congratulated the cadets on their resilience, and thanked them for making journey to Groesbeek – and the opportunity to review the cadets.

“The long days and nights of planning and fundraising were worth every minute” added Captain Lesko.  “We believe the rare opportunity that it was, for our cadets to participate in the 100th Anniversary of Vimy – will have a positive and lasting impact on their growth as better students, community citizens, and young leaders of tomorrow.” 

CHIMO!  

Photos:

  • The cadets and officers of 2803 Fort McMurray, Royal Canadian Army Cadets at the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
  • Cadets McCormick and Ambrose.
  • Army Cadets Burden and Ingram at Vimy Ridge, April 9, 2017.
  • Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Normandy, April 6, 2017.
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery - Belgium
  • Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Normandy, April 6, 2017
  • Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Normandy, April 6, 2017
  • 2803 Fort McMurray RCACC, Lieutenant Martin Darveau and cadets after laying a wreath at the Menin Gate, Last Post Ceremony in Ypres, Belgium.
  • Burgemeester Slinkman of the Municipality of Berg en Dal, The Netherlands, inspecting Fort McMurray Army Cadets at Groesbeek, Canadian War Cemetery, April 11, 2017.
  • Burgemeester Slinkman of the Municipality of Berg en Dal, The Netherlands, inspecting Fort McMurray Army Cadets at Groesbeek, Canadian War Cemetery, April 11, 2017.
  • The officers of 2803 Fort McMurray, Royal Canadian Army Cadets at the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge commemoration.

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