Remembrance Day -or- The Vimy Ridge Memorial
In Flanders Fields -or- The Canadian Spirit
In most larger Canadian towns and cities you can find a cenotaph. Freud found that public monuments and memorials helped quicken individual and collective responses of love, loss, and collective memory. The Canadian physician John McCrae wrote a poem In Flanders Fields (1915) after he witnessed the death of a friend; after World War I, the architect Walter Allward was entrusted with designing the Vimy Memorial to commemorate defended values and human sacrifices.
Allward had a dream that illuminated the nature of the Canadian spirit: "I dreamed I was in a great battlefield. I saw our men going in by the thousands and being mowed down by the sickles of death . . . Suddenly . . . I saw thousands marching to the aid of our armies. They were the dead. . . . Without the dead we were helpless. So I have tried to show this in this monument to Canada's fallen, what we owed them and we will forever owe them." On November 11 every year, Canadians ritually celebrate Remembrance Day, reminding us of those who sacrificed their lives and dreams for ours.