OTTAWA – To mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017, commemorative events will be held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France and the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The Government of Canada will lead a delegation to France to participate in the commemorative ceremony and other events including the opening of a new Visitor Education Centre.
In Ottawa, an official delegation will participate in commemorative programming between April 6 and 9, 2017. Delegations include Veterans, stakeholders, special guests, caregivers and youth.
Veterans Affairs Canada organized an evening of remembrance at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The Government of Canada presented a beautiful candlelight tribute and overnight vigil, led by the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, as well as a spectacular illumination and musical performances. The illumination was projected on the National War Memorial and adjacent screens. Spectators were moved by the combination of light, technology and remembrance at the memorial. The variety of commemorative activities were designed to bring Canadians, especially youth, together, to honour Canada’s victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and contribution to the First World War.
Rotating throughout the night, members of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets stayed at the memorial until 6:38 a.m. on April 9 to carry out the overnight vigil.
Take the Time to Acknowledge and Pay Homage
Timmins James Bay MP Charlie Angus states, “On this 100th anniversary of the Canadian soldiers taking the high ground at Vimy Ridge I think of the soldiers and families who have sacrificed so much serving their country over this past century. We have an obligation to ensure that they have the housing, health care and training they require. And when their service is done, let there be no nickel and diming over pensions and medical supports. To all those who have served and for all those who have lost someone in the service of our nation, thank you for what you have given.”
Marc Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, hopes that all Canadians take the time to acknowledge and pay homage to the 100,000 members of all four Canadian Corps divisions who came together and served in the Battle of Vimy Ridge – a defining moment in Canada’s history. 100 years have since passed, but the legacy of Canadians who served during the First World War and fought in this battle will never be forgotten.
At Vimy Ridge, regiments from coast to coast saw action together in a distinctly Canadian triumph, helping create a new and stronger sense of national identity in our country. Canada’s military achievements during the war raised our country’s international stature and helped earn Canada a signature of its own, separate from England, on the Treaty of Versailles that formally ended the war.
“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. They have not only contributed greatly to the peace and security of our country but indeed to the peace and security of Nations near and far beyond our borders,” says Serré.
“2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation and we remember the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele”.