Dragoons to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge


Sunday's commemoration capped off a weekend of events honouring those who fought in northern France and during WWI.

Hundreds turned out to a candlelight vigil Saturday night at the National War Memorial to mark the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Canada's military achievements during the war raised our country's worldwide stature and helped earn Canada a signature of its own, separate from England, on the Treaty of Versailles that formally ended the war.

After the service came to a close, the parade marched to the Cloverdale Legion, where the cadets were served a lunch and community members were able to view a display of First World War items, which included barbed wire and a German helmet retrieved from the battle.

Ceremonies are being held across Calgary to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge.

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Prince William and his brother Harry laid boots on the memorial in memory of the fallen soldiers.

But it wasn't the largest battle that the Canadians fought in the First World War.

"As I see the faces gathered here, veterans, soldiers, caregivers, so many young people, I can't help but feel a torch is being passed", he said.

"However, victory came at an unbearably heavy cost". Let us remember those soldiers who sacrificed so much and let us strive always for a better understanding of our history and for peace. "And they remind us that one can not exist without the other".

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It was the first time different Canadian military divisions had fought together under one command.

"The battle of Vimy Ridge was a pivotal moment for our military and for our country".

Speaking from the towering white structure, Trudeau spoke of the 3,598 Canadians - "most were men in their early twenties" - who were killed fighting to take control of the strategic eight-kilometre (five-mile) ridge. Albertans enlisted more than any other province.

"As soldiers we dedicate ourselves to our country, and Vimy Ridge is indicative to what being a soldier is, which is protecting and serving Canadians", he said.

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In his tribute to his countrymen who fought and died on Vimy Ridge Mr Trudeau told the thousands attending the ceremony in blazing spring sunshine: "But this monument is also symbolic of Canada's birth and our enduring commitment to peace".