News Worms
News Worms


Canada commemorates centenary of pivotal Vimy WWI battle

Vimy Ridge has become much more than speck on a French map, even much more than a famous World War I battle.

On the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge, Premier Rachel Notley shared her thoughts on Alberta's contribution to the war effort.

A veteran holds a torch of remembrance during a vigil at the National War Memorial to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 8, 2017.

In bright spring sunshine, the crowd at the memorial site was a sea of red t-shirts, many of them showing the Canadian flag.

It was first action in which all four divisions of the Canadian Corps - representing every region of the country - fought together side-by-side on the same battlefield.

CP put the resources of its entire globe-spanning freight and travel system at the disposal of the British Empire and allies at the outset of the war, contributing not only tracks and trains, but its ships, yards, shops, hotels, telegraph lines and - above all else - its people. Vimy School was build in 1930 to commemorate those fearless men who fought and gave their lives at Vimy Ridge so that we can preserve the freedom and democracy that we all enjoy today.

The Vimy memorial also pays tribute to the 11,285 Canadian soldiers who died in France and have no known graves.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will lead the commemorations today for the 100 anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France, considered a founding moment in his nation's history.

With over 3,000 Canadians killed and more than 7,000 wounded in the assault, the battle that many say marked the birth of a nation did not come without a heavy cost.

Pictured, Francois Hollande speaks with a woman during the poppy ceremony. "Today, we remember them and all who serve".

But he saved a special thanks for Canada, telling Trudeau and the hundreds of others assembled that the Canadians' actions at Vimy were "a turning point for our city and our country". And we must believe it: "Never again".

And then there will be those for whom the connection to Vimy will be more symbolic, a recognition of the individual sacrifices and what they did for Canada and the world. In the century since, it's come to be seen as a defining moment in Canada's history, marking its emergence as a global power independent from Great Britain.

Trudeau is scheduled to visit Juno Beach on Monday, where he will mark Canada's contributions during the Second World War.

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