The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a Canadian National Historic Site and, one of Canada's most important overseas war memorials. Dedicated to those Canadians who gave their lives in the First World War, the Vimy Memorial is one of eight Canadian First World War memorials in Europe. It was constructed as the national memorial in tribute of the 66,000 Canadian war dead and 11,285 with no known grave in France. Inscribed on the ramparts of the memorial are the names of the Canadian soldiers who were posted "missing, presumed dead" in France. Inaugurated in 1936, the memorial designed by Walter Seymour Allward took 11 years to construct.
The memorial is located on the former battlefield of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in the preserved Canadian National Vimy Memorial Park, on the territory of the commune of Givenchy-en-Gohelle, near Vimy, France. In 1922, use of the land, for the battlefield park which contains the memorial was granted, in perpetuity, for all time by the French nation to the people of Canada in recognition of Canada's war efforts. The park is still honeycombed with wartime tunnels, craters and trenches, many of which are closed to the public for safety.
In 2004, the memorial was closed for restoration work, including general cleaning and the recarving of names, with the statues moved off-site, cleaned and restored.
By kjfitz @ 2008-07-25 15:46:34