It’s fitting that Annika Tupper’s first trip out of Canada took her to the site of a defining battle for the country.
In April, the Grade 11 student went with a group from Saskatoon’s Evan Hardy Collegiate to France for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
“There’s still deep trenches, but they’re all now beautifully green, filled with grass. But when you see the photos, there’s no comparison – it’s completely different,” Tupper recalled. “Time can only heal some wounds.”
The teen shared her experience of marking the centennial milestone with The Brent Loucks Show Thursday.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War took place April 9-12, 1917. More than 3,600 Canadian soldiers died, with upwards of 7,000 wounded.
It’s heralded as Canada’s most celebrated military victory and often described as the birth of Canadian national pride and awareness.
“There was a certain lightness to (the anniversary), but it was still a moment to remember those who were lost,” Tupper said. “It was an experience I will probably never experience ever again.”
The high school student was one of thousands gathered at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
While nothing compares to being at the site, Tupper said she’s received a good education on Canada’s role in the First World War in her history classes.
“They’re doing a good job of portraying what did happen and trying to make students realize the actual (consequences) for Canada and other surrounding countries.”
Tupper said her school hosts a beautiful Remembrance Day ceremony, which often includes readings of war letters.
“It’s quite an elaborate assembly, but it needs to be elaborate in order to portray the loss there.”