Canada commemorates the centenary of the Vimy WWI battle

About 20,000 people, including many Canadians, are expected to attend the ceremony Sunday, including French President Francois Hollande and British royals Princes Charles, William and Harry.

But the Canadians did, after four days of intense warfare, capture the ridge that both the French and British had previously failed to do.

Canadian troops fought under Canadian command as a united force for the first time there, defeating the German forces in just three days, although they paid a heavy price with 3,600 Canadians killed and 7,000 wounded.

One pair of empty black combat boots for each of the men who died fighting for the ridge was placed atop the monument or on the vibrant green grass of the surrounding ridge. In the words of one veteran: 'We went up Vimy Ridge as Albertans and Nova Scotians. And we must believe it: "Never again".

The government of Canada is hosted the ceremony, which will speeches from officials and performances by famous Canadian artists, including singer Loreena McKennitt.

But he saved a special thanks for Canada, telling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the hundreds of others assembled that the Canadians' actions at Vimy was a turning point for the city - and for all of France. "They stand for justice and hope".

"On April 9th we remember and honour the many Canadians who fought and died for the freedom of our nation and did what no other force was able to accomplish, to liberate France".

William, Harry and the Prince of Wales will walk in the trenches of the former battlefield before taking part in the memorial.

"However, victory came at an unbearably heavy cost".

The ferociously bloody battle for the Vimy high ground has become the stuff of legend for many Canadians.

"Yet Canadians displayed a strength of character and commitment to one another that is still evident today".

Legion branches from the Royal Canadian Legion's E2 zone will march shoulder to shoulder with cadets from the Queen's York Rangers in Aurora and Base Borden, alongside members of York Regional Police's mounted unit and Upper Canada Cavalry, and in solidarity with emergency services personnel and members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island.

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.

Arras Mayor Frederic Leturque thanked those other countries whose soldiers participated in the battle a century ago: Australians and British, New Zealanders and South Africans.

Related:

  • Coutinho, Firmino inspire Liverpool comeback over Stoke

    The Potters have won 23 points from their first 15 home games of a Premier League season for the third consecutive campaign. It is clear then that Mane's injury will have a big impact on Liverpool's pursuit of Champions League qualification.

    SpaceX's Historic Launch Proves Recycled Rockets Are the Future of Space Exploration

    This moment has been in the making for 15 years, since SpaceX was founded in 2002 with the goal of revolutionising spaceflight. This process now takes up to four months, but getting this time down is beneficial for both SpaceX and its customers.
    USA  general confident North Korean missile can be intercepted

    USA general confident North Korean missile can be intercepted

    In February the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell close to Japan. August 1998: North Korea fires a multistage, long-range missile called Taepodong-I over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.
  • Brexit: UK to publish 'Great Repeal Bill' plan to replace European Union  laws

    Brexit: UK to publish 'Great Repeal Bill' plan to replace European Union laws

    The PM told the house of Commons she will represent "every person in the UK ", including European Union nationals. Their position flatly rebuffs a call by U.K.
    Four Inmates Found Dead at a SC Prison

    Four Inmates Found Dead at a SC Prison

    Authorities charged Denver Simmons, 35, and Jacob Philip, 25, with 4 counts of murder each, according to a report. You agree that you are exclusively responsible for your communications and any content you provide.

    Wenger reveals Arsenal star´s Champions League torment

    You are coming into good spaces and the game starts to be played on a big, big pitch and you start to have the feeling that you can create also.
  • Markey to Trump: Negotiate with Kim Jong Un

    Markey to Trump: Negotiate with Kim Jong Un

    While we don't yet have an answer to the first question, the second has already been answered: a U.S. It's unclear whether North Korea is on the brink of war with Senator McCain.
    US military opens investigation into Mosul airstrike

    US military opens investigation into Mosul airstrike

    The U.S. military admitted Saturday it conducted an airstrike March 17 and destroyed an ISIS truck loaded with explosives. That has the potential to undercut victories against the militants and stoke resentments that play into their hands.
    Ford designs baby crib that mimics soothing car ride

    Ford designs baby crib that mimics soothing car ride

    With this data, the Max Motor Dreams recreates the specific motion and sound, instead of just a generic sound/vibration pattern. The Max Motor Dreams looks like a designer bassinet from the outside, except with a large FORD logo.
  • Trump's son-in-law lands 16km from Mosul

    Kushner's wife Ivanka, the 35-year-old first daughter, also plays a key role in advising her father. Almost 290,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, according to the United Nations.
    Pochettino: Tottenham Can Win Their Remaining EPL Matches

    Pochettino: Tottenham Can Win Their Remaining EPL Matches

    Claiming a top-four spot and returning to the Champions League next season looks nearly certain. Swansea defended for 90 minutes but they were very close to beating us.

    Judge blocks request to delay police hearing

    Ronal Serpas, a former New Orleans police chief, says consent decrees can be a "key tool" in effective policing. Prudence Johnson urged the judge to sign the court-enforceable agreement, known as a consent decree .

Comments

Other news