Saturday, June 28, 2014
Our last group excursion was to the historic Citadelle in Québec City. This is a very important landmark in Canadian history and one that continues to impact the Québécois today. The Citadelle was built by the British in 1820-50 and is the largest British fortification in North America. Although it has never been attacked, it is strategically placed on the top of Cap Diamant, ready to defend from any direction. The Citadelle is also an active military base as home to the Royal 22e Regiment, the only Francophone Regiment inthe Canadian Forces. This year is a very special and poignant time to visit La Citadelle as 2014 marks the 100th year anniversary of the First World War and also the formation of the Royal 22e Regiment, the first of Canada's regiments to be deployed to Europe to fight. Although suffering heavy casualties as other Allied countries did, Canada's proud victory at Vimy in 1917 marks the first time for Canada to stand on its own, separate from Britain, since Confederation in 1867. This battle stands as a symbol to the soldiers at La Citadelle and across Canada it represents the sacrifice and independence Canada has shown in battle. La Citadelle has an exhibition on Canada at war with particular focus on WWI and it was extremely well done and I was glad to be able to visit this important place in Canada's history this year in particular, to join in the centenary commemoration of the Great War. The view from the top of the Citadelle is magnifique!