Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Culture | By Henry Herrera

Canada commemorates the centenary of the Vimy WWI battle


The palace documented the ceremony on their official Instagram page.

The Battle for Vimy Ridge was a distinctly Canadian effort from the beginning, a true demonstration of all the best qualities that Canada represents: individual initiative; esprit de corps; gumption; enthusiasm.

"2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation and we remember the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele".

Clark said the battle came at a awful cost to Canadians with more than 10,000 soldiers killed and wounded in horrific conditions. "We must never forget their service and sacrifice".

"All of those were things that I think came to mark Canadians not only as warriors", he says, "but to some degree how we carry out our day-to-day affairs".

Angry opposition in the province of Quebec to the First World War and the military conscription that eventually came with it have receded into memory, just as Vimy Ridge has emerged as what most historians consider the seminal event of Canadian nationhood.

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Vimy Ridge was an engagement during the Battle Of Arras itself, which lasted from 9 April to 16 May 1917 and claimed 18,000 Scottish lives - the highest concentration of Scots involved in any WW1 campaign.

The battle marked the first time all four Canadian divisions fought together side-by-side during the war, advancing together on the heavily fortified ridge.

Men from all backgrounds and places, but all of them proudly wearing the "Canada" shoulder badge that separated them from the millions of other soldiers on the Western Front. "Such was the case at Vimy in April 1917". Almost 3,600 Canadians lost their lives.

Hundreds of York Region students will join an expected 12,000 from across the country getting an education of a lifetime during centennial celebrations of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France today.

"Those spires stand for peace and for freedom", Johnston said. It was a singular victory for Canada, and forever changed the perception of the country and former colony in its allies' eyes.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Canadian National War Memorial Sunday to remember those who fought at the battle of Vimy Ridge. We pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of a pivotal battle that has left an indelible mark on our history.

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