Trudeau & Other Dignataries Commemorate 100 Year Anniversary of Vimy Ridge Battle
VIMY RIDGE, FRANCE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of many dignitaries who gathered at the Vimy Ridge monument to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge.
The battle of Vimy Ridge was the first instance in which all four Canadian divisions fought together, where they were able to take the ridge from the Germans where British and French attacks had previously failed.
3,600 Canadians died in the battle, while 7000 were injured.
Earlier in the day, Trudeau joined French President Francois Hollande for a ceremony marking the centenary of the battle, before joining over 25,000 people at the monument. Governor General David Johnston, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry were also in attendance.
Trudeau’s full statement commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge is included below:
“One hundred years ago, on a gentle slope in France, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought for the first time as one. They were ordinary – yet extraordinary – men, from all corners of the country: Francophone, Anglophone, new Canadians, Indigenous Peoples.
“On Easter Monday, April 1917, battling through snow, sleet, and constant machine gun fire, they broke through an impregnable fortress and achieved a historic victory. They succeeded where other armies had failed – but at a great cost. Nearly 3,600 Canadians lost their lives. Over 7,000 more were wounded. The Battle of Vimy Ridge remains one of the bloodiest battles in Canada’s history.
“Despite these losses, Canadian bravery and ingenuity won the day and led to one of the most decisive victories in the First World War. The innovative fighting techniques used so effectively by our soldiers at Vimy Ridge would contribute to the final Allied victory a year and a half later.
“Many of the soldiers wearing the Canadian uniform that day were immigrants to this country. People of many languages and backgrounds, representing every region in Canada, fought for the values we hold so dear: freedom, democracy, and peace. In the words of one veteran: ‘We went up Vimy Ridge as Albertans and Nova Scotians. We came down as Canadians.’
“Today, as we gather to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, we remember the thousands of Canadians who gave their lives far from Canada’s shores. We pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of a pivotal battle that has left an indelible mark on our history. And we thank every Canadian who has answered the call to serve for their selflessness and sacrifice.
“Lest we forget.”
Vimy Ridge was the single most deadly battle in the history of Canada’s armed forces. It is seen as the moment that truly forged Canada into one, united country.
Spencer Fernando, MyToba News
Photo – Canadian PM (Twitter)