Hollande, Trudeau Pay Tribute to Canada's WWI Casualties


While Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau told the around 25,000 attending the ceremony that "the monument is also symbolic of Canada's birth and our enduring commitment to peace".

The two-hour event will include musical and dramatic performances by well-known Canadians such as Paul Gross and Lorena McKennitt, as well as speeches by French President Francois Hollande and Prince Charles.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadians who died at Vimy Ridge 100 years ago today helped shape Canada into a nation committed to peace.

The Prince of Wales described the efforts of Canadian troops who fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge as setting "an extraordinary example of selflessness for our future generations".

Almost 3,600 Canadians died and another 7,000 were wounded during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which is believed by many to be Canada's introduction to the world as a mature, independent nation.

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There's certain moments and events that Canadians will always remember, the battle of Vimy Ridge is one of them.

Veterans, cadets and active service members marched to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Winnipeg.

The battle marked the first time all four Canadian divisions fought together side-by-side during the war, advancing together into the sleet and bullets and bombs on April 9, 1917: Easter Monday.

"On this day a century ago, after months of careful planning and surveillance, through considerable innovations in tactics and technology, and after remarkable determination and courage, the Canadian Corps took Vimy Ridge", he said.

"On the German side, casualties are estimated at 20,000", said Premier Rachel Notley in a release.

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Clark said the battle came at a awful cost to Canadians with more than 10,000 soldiers killed and wounded in horrific conditions.

"Under enemy fire, they advanced, fighting like lions", said Mr Trudeau.

It's estimated that about 2,000 islanders fought in the battle of Vimy Ridge. In total, 3,598 Canadians died and another 7,004 were wounded.

"In this sense, Canada was born there", Trudeau said.

The Queen also sent a message to Canadians in French and English commending their soldiers for the sacrifice they made. To protect soldiers from shelling, they built miles of tunnels one of the war's great engineering feats allowing troops to pop up quickly into their positions.

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The battle and victory have become an important part of Canada's identity, symbolizing the shift from a former British colony to an independent nation.