Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 4 Church and Vimy

We went to both of our wards, Lille and Ville Neuve d'Ascq sacrament mtgs today. This is what we
often need to do because of my need to translate for the Petrov's and also because if we don't go to one of the wards, they become upset.
Everyone was soooooooo nice to the girls and the girls of course were wonderful. Everyone said how pretty and nice they were. Luckily one of the talks was in English with Dh translating into French, so the girls could understand. Papa translated the rest of the talks into English for the girls. I translated for the Petrovs and the girls sat by 3 visiting young ladies who had previously served their missions here. One of them translated for E and J.
Cecile received the gift of the Holy Ghost today and unexpectedly Papa was asked to give her the gift and blessing. It turned out to be wonderful and both of the sacraments mtgs were very spiritually uplifting. Both Jenna and Emma said that even though they didn't understand they could really feel the spirit and felt very touched by the services.
After church was over we went into the Bishop's office with Frere Giles and Papa and Dh gave a blessing to the Petrovs. They are leaving for Bulgaria today and wanted a blessing of comfort. I did the translating for them from English into Russian and then from French into Russian. It is always kind of hard, but the spirit of the Lord helps so much. It was a very emotional time. They are sad to be leaving. Hayrie cried and hugged me for such a long time. She calls me her Mama because her Mama is dead and because she says I brought her real life by giving her the light of the gospel and a true purpose to her life. We were all very emotionally touched in that little room. We could feel the love that the Lord has for each one of us.

After a little lunch in the kitchen, we went to Vimy Ridge. This National Historical Site of Canada stands on Hill 145, the highest point of the 14-kilometre long Vimy Ridge.
"In the First World War, the Ridge was a highly significant part of the German defence system. Although French troops, in fierce and bloody battles in 1914 and 1915, had pushed the German line eastwards, they failed to take the ridge, which became strongly fortified. Superb planning and training ensured that the Canadian Corps would achieve its goal.
At daybreak on April 9, 1917, all four divisions of the Canadian Corps (aided by the British 5th Division and a considerable number of artillery units), fighting together for the first time, stormed the ridge. Preceded by a perfectly-timed artillery barrage, the Canadians advanced and , by mid-afternoon, had taken all their objectives except Hill 145 which was captured the following day. Then on April 12th, the 4th Canadian Division, with the British 24th Division on their left flank, took the Pimple at the northern end of the ridge.
The hard -fought victory was swift, but did not come without cost. Out of the 10,602 casualties 3,598 Canadians gave their lives.
The victory at Vimy was a significant landmark for Allied fortunes in the first World War and back home in Canada, it united Canadians and brought honour and pride to the young nation." quoted from a little pamphlet.

It took 11 years to build the monument which rests of 11,000 tons of concrete, reinforced with hundreds of tons of steel. More than 6,000 tons of limestone were brought in from Croatia and the figures are carved out of huge blocks of this stone.

The figure pictured above is of a sorrowing woman who represents Canada. she is carved out of a single, 30 ton block.

On each side of the staircase are the male and female mourners.

Emma and Jenna looking at the 11,285 names of Canadian soldiers who were killed in France and whose final resting place was then unknown.

This magnificent work of art was completed in 1936 and is the work of art designed by the Canadian artist, sculptor and architect, Walter Seymour Allward.
We were able to tour the monument, the trenches, the tunnels and the visitors center as well as one of the cemeteries.


The Texas Bakers said...

How wonderful that the girls could come and stay with you! I am sure this is a summer they will never forget. That memorial is very touching. It is so sad to remember all those who sacrificed their lives fighting against evil.

Connie said...

You're going to be leaving a part of you with those good people! It must be hard to leave. It's wonderful that you have family there now who can not only see the country but feel of the spirit as you continue doing your calling.

Enjoyed the history lesson and beautiful pictures.

Lil' M said...

i just cant wait until you get here i love you

Robin said...

Sounds like the girls are loving every minute. Such great history.

Yvonne said...

Sounds like the girls are enjoying their visit so much.

I loved hearing about Vimy Ridge and seeing the pictures. (It is something I've heard a lot of here in Canada, but not in as much detail as you have shared. Thank you)