April 9th marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge
This weekend, Canada observed a profound anniversary in our nation’s history. April 9th marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge; a battle that prompted Brigadier-General A.E. Ross to comment that “in those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation.”
The Battle of Vimy Ridge occurred following a drawn out stalemate during World War I, which gave the Allies renewed energy to carry on and ultimately prevail. Canadian soldiers have been recognized ever since for the courage and sacrifice they displayed during the four-day battle. The sacrifice Canada made to conquer the Ridge was not insignificant – 3,598 Canadian lives were lost.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial sits on the highest point of the Ridge in France to forever commemorate the Canadians who lost their lives during World War I. It also bears the names of the 11,285 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice during the War but who have no known grave. This year, it will be the site of a poignant centennial commemoration of this pivotal battle in Canadian history.
In the one hundred years since the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Canadians have earned a great amount of respect on a global level time and time again for fighting the forces of tyranny and barbarism. In recent years, Canada has continued to answer the call of duty when asked, including the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. Canada is a nation that has always been known for its willingness to stand for that is right, and to help others in need.
On this 100th anniversary and always, we remember the sacrifices made by Canadians during World War I at Vimy Ridge. We also remember all of our men and women in uniform throughout our history and reflect upon their accomplishments and sacrifices, while supporting those who continue to serve our great country.
We will never be able to repay the debt owed to those who have fought and continue to fight for freedom on our behalf. But we can pay tribute to their selfless sacrifices and honour their unrivaled courage and loyalty.