Trudeau leads Battle of Vimy 100-year commemoration in France

The official anniversary of Vimy Ridge, which featured four Canadian divisions fighting together as a unit for the first time to take the almost impossible ridge from German defenders is April 9, although the battle stretched on four days.

There will be several opportunities Sunday in Regina to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

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.

"Those spires stand for peace and for freedom", Gov. Gen. David Johnston said, indicating the white towers of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial behind him.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prince William and Prince Harry united yesterday to honor the fallen soldiers of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.

A solemn Sunday is in store as Canadians take time to remember the thousands of our country's soldiers who died while fighting on Vimy Ridge a century ago.

As part of its effort, CP also organized the first battalion of Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps (CORCC) to build and run railways through Europe during the war.

Many Canadians consider the victory at Vimy a significant step toward Canada's colonial emancipation from Britain, but some Canadian historians have debunked the state's official view of its significance. The Telegraph reports that they appeared in northern France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a World War I battle that became a key part of Canada's identity.

More than 15,000 Canadian soldiers stormed the 7 km long ridge, nearly 4,000 were killed and another 7,000 were wounded.

"In this sense, Canada was born there", Trudeau said.

Pictured, Francois Hollande speaks with a woman during the poppy ceremony. "We must never forget their service and sacrifice". In the words of one veteran: 'We went up Vimy Ridge as Albertans and Nova Scotians.

Others are former or current military members for whom the event holds great significance.

Vimy, however, was seen - or at least came to be seen over the passing decades - as the moment in time when Canada emerged from the shadow of its British colony status to earn its place on the world stage as a strong, independent nation.

They've been in the country since Thursday, visiting historic sites from the First World War.

  • Anthony Vega