On November 11, communities across Canada will gather at Cenotaphs for Remembrance Day — an occasion to honour the men and women who served and those who lost their lives in war.

There are more than 7,500 war memorials and monuments throughout the country, many of which are visited daily by Canadian residents and visitors. Why do Canadians, then, feel compelled to travel to memorials and sites of importance in Europe — the front lines where millions of soldiers lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars?

Katrina Pasierbek, a first-year PhD student in Laurier’s History Department, is digging deeper into the evolution of these Canadian pilgrimages.

She is exploring First World War tourism and commemoration on the Western Front — particularly, the earliest forms of Canadian remembrance that took place during the interwar period, before the Second World War once again ravaged Europe.

“The Vimy Pilgrimage serves as an important case study to further our understanding of First World War commemoration and tourism. What else can we learn about this experience based on the priorities and plans of those who made the journey back to Europe?”

Please click here to read the full article from Wilfrid Laurier University.