100 years since the battle of Vimy Ridge will pass this April 9th.
But what connections does the Forest City have to one of our nation’s most defining moments?
The Royal Canadian Regiment, Canada’s first established unit, has called London home for many years, establishing it’s official museum here in 1983.
Members of the RCR, which continues to serve to this day, can be found throughout the city in various roles.
One prominent name is Peter Devlin, Fanshawe College’s president since 2013.
His service, totaling 35 years, was prominently in the RCR, being granted the position of Commanding Officer in 1997.
When remembering Vimy Ridge, there are some who call the battle an exaggerated story of Canadian triumph.
Devlin is amoung those who would disagree, thinking it to be a key moment for our nation.
“I believe so. I think it was not only internationally, but for Canadians it was an important, some would say, defining, moment,” says Devlin.
Through his military career, as well as a look back in time, Devlin has some conclusions to what made Canada so successful at Vimy, and what continues to define us as a country.
“The strength of Canadians was our way, our ability, to look at challenges differently. To bring all assets to bear to resolve a conflict,” Devlin says. “Not just the military, but all forms of national power, our diplomacy, our international development support, all those Canadian aspects to a particular conflict or a challenge.”
As a veteran, and as a Canadian, Devlin holds the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge in high regard, and hopes that Londoners will show their support for all who have given their lives in service of our country.