When World War One began in August of 1914, everyone believed that it would all be over by Christmas.
Young men the world over heard the call and signed up. One of those young men was my grandfather, Harry Dean.
Over the course of the next four long years, he fought in the trenches of the Western Front. I don't know what he hoped to find in France, but what awaited him was a battlefield of mud and horror.
One of "the lucky ones", he managed to survive the war and its terrible battles, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge, considered by some to be a high point in the history of Canada - a battle that solidified our status as a nation.
In a field, on a hill outside of Arras is a monument to that awful day of triumph. Carved into the sides of it are the names of young men killed in battle, whose bodies were never found. Eleven thousand two hundred and eighty five in all. A further six thousand nine hundred and ninety eight names are carved in the Memorial Arch of the Menin Gate at Ypres.
Vimy is a beautiful monument, a place of silence and of ghosts.
We went today to pay our respects to my grandfather and his comrades.
Also there were a group of men from England, finding the name of an ancestor. I quietly stepped away.
Surrounding this spot are fields of lumps and hillocks and holes - the long-ago battlefields, left to heal as nature sees fit. Grass covers the mud and trees grow, but the scars in the earth remain.
It's a powerful testament to all that was lost in those four terrible years.