Vimy Ridge Anniversary Ceremonies

Gladys Abbott
April 18, 2017

One hundred years to the day after his grandfather went into battle at Vimy Ridge, Stewart and a group of Prince Andrew students walked that very same ground, at a special ceremony attended by 25,000 Canadians in France Sunday. The move cost 3,600 dead and over 7,000 injured in three days.

But he reserved a poignant salute for the Canadians, whose bravery and perseverance, he said, provided a turning point for the city and for France itself.

During the ceremony Charles, President Hollande and Mr Trudeau will all speak and also lay wreaths at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial which honours all those from the Commonwealth country who died fighting during the First World War.

As Canadians marked the 100th anniversary of the ferocious battle fought at Vimy Ridge during World War One, B.C.'s premier on Sunday announced a $350,000 contribution for the creation of a park at the site in France.

Marc Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, hopes that all Canadians take the time to acknowledge and pay homage to the 100,000 members of all four Canadian Corps divisions who came together and served in the Battle of Vimy Ridge - a defining moment in Canada's history.

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Today we mark the 100th anniversary of a battle that occurred during one of the bloodiest wars in the history of the world - a battle that turned the world's attention to Canada. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) Canadian soldiers march at a sunset ceremony and mounting of the vigil at the WWI Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Givenchy-en-Gohelle, France on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

The cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of soldiers from the Great War, including 700 Canadians.

Success at Vimy Ridge was the result of intense training over several months, and despite the heavy losses, helped forge Canada's identity on a global scale only 50 years after it had become an independent dominion.

The ceremony, hosted by the Canadian government, included recitations of stories from soldiers and eyewitnesses to the battle, and performances by Canadian singers such as Johnny Reid and Loreena McKennitt.

The centre of the poppy is formed by a newly-unveiled sculpture of pairs of soldiers' feet by New Zealand artist Helen Pollock. Vimy School was build in 1930 to commemorate those fearless men who fought and gave their lives at Vimy Ridge so that we can preserve the freedom and democracy that we all enjoy today.

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