A Brandon cadet who visited Vimy Ridge in the spring was a keynote speaker at Brandon’s Remembrance Day service at the Keystone Centre Nov. 11.
Master Bombardier Michael Brooks, from Brandon’s 2520 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 71 Bty RCA Cadets, spoke to an attentive crowd that included veterans, active members of CFB Shilo, dignitaries and fellow cadets.
The Grade 12 student travelled with fellow youth from Neelin High School to France during spring break at the end of last March and described his experience of standing on the hill at Vimy Ridge, something he now shares with his forefathers.
"To think that my great, great grandfather was there, and his father was there, left me speechless," he said. "They both fought at Vimy and they both survived it."
Last spring, the Neelin students travelled to various historic sites, such as the trenches at the town of Arras, as well as the Vimy Ridge National Historic Site, about 10 kilometres further north.
Michael has a second opportunity to visit First World War sites in France by entering the Vimy Pilgrimage Award, organized by the Vimy Foundation.
This award consists of a fully funded, week-long educational program this April in Vimy, France, to study Canada’s tremendous First World War effort.
A total of 20 students from across Canada will be selected through writing a 500-word essay.
The Vimy Pilgrimage Award recognizes the actions of young people who demonstrate outstanding service, positive contributions, bravery and/or leadership serving their peers, schools and communities.