The Vimy Foundation released a statement on Thursday about the new Canadian passports that removed “one of Canada’s most important icons.”
The news release stated that cyber security is important but expressed skepticsm that removing history from the passports was needed to achieve it.
“The Canadian National Vimy Memorial does not just represent those soldiers who died at Vimy, it also represents Canadian unity and achievement,” the letter reads.
“The decision to remove historical events from the passport is a missed opportunity for thoughtful discussion around the importance of history, and the possibilities for a conversation about what Canadians feel are important moments that unite them.”
The reveal by the Liberals of the new passport has garnered much attention from media outlets, with many echoing the same sentiment.
On Friday, Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis bashed the new passports, showing a comparison between the old photos and the new ones.
“Trudeau is trying to erase Canadian identity. Removing religious & royal symbols, purging our national identity from passports, replacing Vimy Ridge & Terry Fox, with a man raking leaves & a squirrel with a nut, shows disrespect for our history & those who sacrificed to build it.”
Why is Vimy Ridge important?
Vimy Ridge is a 7-kilometer long escarpment located in northern France. During World War I, the ridge was a strategic location and was held by the German army.
In April 1917, the Canadian Corps was ordered to take Vimy Ridge from the Germans.
The relatively inexperienced Canadian troops spent months preparing for the attack. They dug tunnels and trenches and practiced their assault on life-size models of the German defenses.
On April 9, 1917, the Canadian Corps launched their attack, and managed to capture the ridge in just four days — but at a cost of 3,598 Canadian soldiers’ lives.
The achievement was the first time Canadian troops had a major victory on the world stage.