'I still get chills': Teacher leads student trip to Vimy Memorial once more

Students from three P.E.I. high schools are making final preparations for a trip to northern France next month to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

They'll be led by Three Oaks High School teacher David Chisholm, who led his first trip to the Vimy Memorial 10 years ago, to mark the 90th anniversary. Chisholm told CBC Radio's Island Morning it will be an emotional moment for everyone.

"It's going to be a lot of national pride, when you walk up and see the monument for the first time," he said.

"I still get chills when I see it, probably for the seventh time."

A lasting memory

Including chaperones, the school trip will include 98 people from Three Oaks, Kinkora and Kensington high schools. Each trip takes a lot of fundraising and planning, 16 to 20 months worth.

In visits with students who have been on the trip previously, Chisholm has found it is an experience that really sticks with them.

"It's hard to describe," he said.

"The kids, some of them are brought to tears when they see the ages of the veterans. It's the hard part. Some of them are 17, 18 years old. The youngest one we've ever seen just turned 14."

The P.E.I. group will be among 7,000 to 10,000 from across the country. Also at the ceremony will be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, members of the Royal family, and French government officials.

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