Sunday, November 09, 2008
History rewritten/L’histoire vue autrement
Back in April 2007, I wrote several articles on the Canadian Vimy commemorations and how history appeared to differ from what I had been taught. This year, I am witnessing a literal rewriting. In France, president Nicolas Sarkozy is moving the ceremonies from the Arch of Triumph to smaller venues, with an emphasis on the victims.
In the UK, the BBC presents an article on the last WWI veteran. I also saw a Canadian documentary on new explorations of the Vimy underground tunnels where Canadian troops lived prior to the big assault. Shown are pictures of Canadian carvings and graffiti of men who were on their way to the battle. It is surreal to see archeologists digging out Canadian military insignia and finding carvings of the maple leaf in the tunnels.
Another interesting article, entitled "In the trenches with Paul Gross", which explains the reasons that let Paul Gross to do his Passchendaele movie.
History changes - either because of political will, an altered perspective or the arrival of new evidence not available before. The documentary on trenches on the German side mentions that the reason the locals did not attempt any research is because the memories were too painful but also because there were too many unexploded mines around which prevented further investigations.
Au Canada, un communiqué de presse de juin 2008 explique une nouvelle initiative des Anciens Combattants intitulée Vigile 1914-1918. Voici le site de Vigile 1914-1918 proprement dit.
Here is another venue for the Vigil event. The projections will take place in Fredericton, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina and Edmonton and in Trafalgar Square in London.
Here is an interesting explanation for the Vigil: " Families were forbidden from repatriating the bodies of their war dead however much they wanted to. It will be an important moment for the naes of 68,000 to first appear in Trafalgar Square and then travel home across the time zones. In essence, they travel back to Canada and across the country."
Détail intéressant - aucune ville de Québec ne participe à cet événement - ni de France, d'ailleurs.