Edmonton student one of 20 selected for Vimy Pilgrimage Award – Edmonton


Himanshu Surukanti was one of 20 students selected out of 200 applicants from across Canada for this year’s Vimy Pilgrimage Award.
“World War II and World War I have been gaps in my history knowledge for a long time, so the chance to go and learn about things in person instead of a textbook or a YouTube video was really exciting,” said Surukanti.The Vimy Foundation has run this competition annually since 2013. At least one student from Alberta is chosen every year.To qualify, students between the ages of 14 and 17 must submit a video or personal essay explaining how they’re committed to improving their community through things like volunteering.“These are students who are going to go ahead and make change, and for us to be part of that formation to help them make the changes that they want to see, I think, is a real privilege,” said Caitlin Bailey, executive director for the Vimy Foundation. Story continues below advertisement

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Edmonton high school student takes in Remembrance Day at Vimy Ridge

The trip isn’t just a sightseeing vacation. Students were split into groups to give presentations on the different aspects of the war that they learned during the eight-day tour.

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“My own group presented on the environmental impacts of the war, so I learned a lot about how the war devastated forests around the front lines and the effects of resource extraction necessary to power the war,” said Surukanti.

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“Our ideal outcome is someone who then goes through our program and takes what they learned to help them continue with their community work,” said Bailey.Even though the trip had some sombre moments visiting memorials, museums, cemeteries and historic battlefields from the First World War, Surukanti said he’ll able to take what he learned into his future.“If we’re going to have any chance of understanding our country now and changing it for the better, it’s important to know where we came from and to really internalize this really key event in history,” said Surukanti. Story continues below advertisement

4:55
Little Canada Honors The Battle of Vimy Ridge

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