Montreal

What 35 Montreal high school students hope to learn as they travel to Vimy

Three days from the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Thursday was the start a journey for 35 students from Lindsay Place High School.

35 students from Lindsay Place High School are travelling to Vimy to join thousands of other Canadians

Students from Lindsay Place High School are off to Vimy Ridge to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle that left thousands of Canadian soldiers dead or injured. (Thomas Cobbett Labonté/CBC)

Three days from the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Thursday was the start a journey for 35 students from Lindsay Place High School.

After more than two years of research, fundraising and preparations, they all met up with their history teacher, Melissa Hunter, at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport for the start of their trip.

They will be joining thousands of other Canadian students travelling to Vimy for the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where 3,598 Canadians soldiers were killed and another 7,000 wounded.

CBC Montreal caught up with the students at the airport, right before their departure, to ask them what they were looking forward to the most.

Alexander Katona

I think it's going to be the history. There is a lot of history that happened at Vimy…so I think it's going to be really eye opening to understand what happened, why it happened and what happened as a result.

We have been researching the topic, fundraising and doing all types of things for the actual trip so, now finally, being able to go on the trip is kind of a big big thing. There is a great amount of excitement with it.

Ryan Joseph

I am going for the history aspect. Because it's important to know what happened in the past to fix things that are happening today. I have always wanted to travel the world in general and this is one of the steps that I am taking towards that. [The] memories and the experiences are going to stick with me forever.

Leah Suissa

I love history and there has been a lot of people in my family who have participated in wars so I think it would be a valuable and touching experience to be able to go and really understand what the soldiers did when they went to war.

Whenever I travel, I spend too much time taking pictures and not really living in the moment, but I hope to just really try my best to live in the moment and to really get a great and long-lasting experience out of this.

Emma Doyle

It's very emotional. We are going to be standing on top of where people died and it's just a lot. It's big.…I definitely want to take a lot of pictures and be able to look back on this, one day in the future, and just think, 'Oh, I was there and I got to see this and I felt that.'

Jeremy Kellner

We take everything for granted, right? Money, where we live. But other people see things different. So I am really looking forward to seeing this whole other area. To see the Vimy memorial, to be part of the ceremony and the history.

Norm Horner

I taught at Linsday Place High School until I retired in 2008 and I have been really involved with the school since then. I am very excited about this because I have been to France, but I did not get a chance to see Vimy my first time around and this is such a tremendous opportunity for me. My friends are very jealous and I cannot wait to be there on that day with our students and with students from all across Canada. This is a fantastic event and I am very fortunate to be a part of it.

I had three great-uncles who enlisted and went off from a little town in Nova Scotia. Two were killed and one of them returned. One of my great-uncles was actually killed on the same day as Vimy. However, it was not at Vimy. It was a bit farther north. So I think that will make the trip special for me.

Subsequent days, we go to Normandy and we see the D-Day museums. My dad was part of a bomber crew RCAF that flew over Normandy on D-Day. So I will be looking up at the skies and thinking of my dad on that day.

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