The vision of a man whose father and grandfather served their country in two World Wars. Jamie Massie wanted to do something to honour the memory of the men and women who serve and have served in the Canadian military and of the facility, Base Borden, that provides and has provided the training for over two million young men and women over the past one hundred years.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 was the first military engagement that was coordinated and commanded solely by Canadian forces. It was a defining moment in the coming of age of Canada as a nation. Thousands of young men died in the battle and thousands more were injured.
The vision was to build a memorial wall at Base Borden, patriate soil from the Vimy Ridge battlefield and entomb the soil in the wall at Base Borden, the training centre for the men who fought at Vimy Ridge.
Jamie Massie, the Honorary Colonel of the Base along with Jim Williams and Barry Peacock, fellow Honorary Colonels spearheaded the project. The majority of the funding for the project was provided by local citizens who believed in the mission. Marlene Hilton Moore, an award winning artist, was commissioned to design and oversee the construction of the memorial.
The vision culminated in reality after six years.
On Thursday, June 9, 2016, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, eloquently spoke at the opening of the memorial. (see video)