Friends Forums

Virtual Friends Forum. Thursday, March 14th, 2024. 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST Presentation in English

Guest Speaker John Goheen
TOPIC: In the Footsteps of Heroes:
The Royal Canadian Legion
As Mark Connley states in his recent Postcards from the Western Front: the term ‘pilgrimage’ had emerged from its religious roots and was increasingly being applied to secular journeys that were deemed to share similar characteristics. When ‘pilgrimage’ is used to describe those traveling to see war cemeteries, memorials, and other places of commemoration the blurring between the religious and the secular is obvious.
The first significant Canadian ‘Pilgrimage’ occurred in the summer of 1936 when the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League, the precursor of the Royal Canadian Legion, organized the first “official pilgrimage to Vimy and the Battlefields” for Canadians. More than 6200 Canadian veterans and their families made their way to Europe. What might have been the beginning of even greater things to come were soon dashed by the Second World War. There would be no more Legion Pilgrimages until 1989 when a contingent of Second World War veterans resurrected the Pilgrimage concept and returned to Northwest Europe.
Today, the Royal Canadian Legion Foundation’s Pilgrimages of Remembrance evoke the spirit of those earlier journeys.  Here is your opportunity to learn more about the history of Canadian ‘Pilgrimages’ and the present day opportunities for such experiences.


March 14, 2024

7-8 pm EST

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