Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Vimy Ridge Anniversary Ceremonies


Vimy Ridge was part of a larger British-led offensive known as the Battle of Arras, which was a diversionary tactic to help a major French attack further south.

"All the units in Calgary have a connection back to that First World War battle, and I couldn't be prouder of what's been accomplished today, bringing the community together, the citizens of Calgary to commemorate this historic battle".

The City of Toronto will honour the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge during a commemorative ceremony with the Canadian Armed Forces today at Fort York.

Veterans Affairs Canada organized an evening of remembrance at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

The royal family was accompanied by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Francois Hollande. On a per capita basis, no other province suffered a greater loss in the Great War than Manitoba. Prince Harry and Prince William placed the final pair of boots on a war memorial, and they all walked in the trenches the soldiers used during the war.

An ocean away from home, spilling their blood on a remote ridge in the muddied battlefields of northern France a century ago, many would argue that Canadians earned nationhood.

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Registered nurse Kristen Schafer accompanied Cockriell to the ceremony and said she has gained an appreciation for the sacrifices made by soldiers through her work with a doctors who served in Afghanistan. They fought courageously and with great ingenuity in winning the strategic high point of Vimy Ridge, though victory came at a heavy cost with more than 10,000 fallen and wounded.

As for unity, there are those who say Vimy actually exacerbated divisions between English-Canada, which supported the war, and French-Canada, which opposed it, by pushing the country closer to conscription. Clapperton. "As a country, we came together. We must never forget their service and sacrifice".

"They are going with the idea that they may not survive and it takes somebody with a different mindset to do that", said Sgt. (Ret.d) John Bertram.

"Many historians and writers consider the Canadian victory at Vimy a defining moment for Canada, when the country emerged from under the shadow of Britain and felt capable of greatness", he said.

On Monday, Trudeau will visit World War II sites in the Normandy region.

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