July 24, 2017
Staff at the Canadian War Museum knew the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge would be a major event.
But they didn’t want to simply provide a chronology of the fight. Vimy is too important to simply state the facts.
“We knew there would be hundreds of exhibits about Vimy,” said Mélanie Morin-Pelletier, a historian who helped create the exhibit, Vimy — Beyond the Battle.
“It’s easier to say, ‘On this day of the battle, this happened, and on this day, this happened,’” she said.
The exhibition instead documents the 100 years since Vimy, and how Canadians commemorate that battle, and every conflict since. It leaves the chronology of Vimy to the museum’s permanent collection, which itself has been expanded for the centennial.
“We’re using Vimy as a stepping-stone to ask how Canadians commemorate their military history,” Morin-Pelletier said during a July 17 presentation at Pinhey’s Point, first in the 2017 series of public lectures at the historical site.
“In the end, what people think about Vimy is different from how it affected the war at the time.”