Justin Trudeau in France to mark the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge

"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".

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".

Historians today generally agree that Vimy was not the most important of Canada's First World War battles.

Success at Vimy Ridge was the result of intense training over several months, and despite the heavy losses, helped forge Canada's identity on a global scale only 50 years after it had become an independent dominion.

Canada lost 3,600 soldiers and had over 7,000 injured during the three-day battle.

Vimy Ridge, Hill 70 and Passchendaele all occurred in one historic year for the Canadian military.

James Cockriell's great-uncle Joseph was one of the soldiers who fought at Vimy and was killed on the last day of the battle.

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.

An ocean away from home, spilling their blood on a remote ridge in the muddied battlefields of northern France a century ago, many would argue that Canadians earned nationhood.

There were dozens of shouts of "thanks so much" and "thanks from Canada" as they moved towards their official cars.

William and Harry - who have both served in the armed forces - will lay a pair of boots, some of the first of thousands that will be placed at the site by Canadian and French youth - representing nearly 3,600 Canadians who died during the battle.

"As we honour such great bravery and sacrifice, we should honour the fearless men and women of the Canadian Forces, who risk their lives to carry on this proud tradition of service - and keep us all safe".

"They are telling us peace is the most precious gift and it's the greatest merit of Europe to have realized that dream".

The ceremony, hosted by the Canadian government, included recitations of stories from soldiers and eyewitnesses to the battle, and performances by Canadian singers such as Johnny Reid and Loreena McKennitt.

Recommended News

  • New NSA leak may expose its bank spying, Windows exploits

    The company also said it verified the exploits and discovered that nine were already been addressed by previously issued patches. WikiLeaks also released more so-called CIA "Vault 7" attack tools earlier this month that are created to target Windows systems.
    Astros' Aoki singles in 7th to break up A's no-hit bid

    Astros' Aoki singles in 7th to break up A's no-hit bid

    Dallas Keuchel is coming off of two impressive starts where he will face off against Oakland pitcher Kendall Graveman . If it's not broken, fractured or whatever, we'll just take this 10 days to rest it and see where we go from there.

    Centurion and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo thankful after 100th European goal

    Bayern should have been 2-0 up at the break, but Arturo Vidal , who headed the hosts into a first-half lead, skied a penalty. Madrid captain Sergio Ramos echoed Zidane's sentiments that nothing is decided.
  • Former Gamecock makes Major League Baseball debut Wednesday with Yankees

    METS 4, PHILLIES 3: Jay Bruce homered twice, including the tiebreaking shot in a testy eighth inning to lead NY at Philadelphia. But in his three seasons with the Yankees he's been frustrating, but today he set the bar high for his potential on the mound.
    Federal judge in Arkansas blocks series of executions

    Federal judge in Arkansas blocks series of executions

    In a statement, McKesson left open the possibility it could refile its suit if Arkansas is allowed to proceed with the executions. The inmates filed paperwork Sunday asking the Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals to consider their claims that Baker rejected.
    Courtois out, Ibrahimovic on bench at Old Trafford

    Courtois out, Ibrahimovic on bench at Old Trafford

    The former Blues manager departed the club at the end of 2015 and during the 2016-17 season, Chelsea has clobbered Man United . The 19-year-old raced in behind David Luiz before clipping a shot past Begovic for his ninth goal of the season.
  • 'Mother of all bombs' killed 94 ISIS fighters, Afghan official

    The Taliban armed group, which is expected to soon announce the start of this year's fighting season, also denounced the bombing. Achin is located in the foothills of the Spinghar mountain range that serves as a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    An author of GOP health bill gets rough reception back home

    An author of GOP health bill gets rough reception back home

    Others said many of Walden's policy platforms don't reflect the views of his constituents. "It needs to be improved", Walden said. But they also cheered and clapped when he said climate change is not a hoax.
    United to Refund All Passengers Who Watched Asian Doctor Get Assaulted

    United to Refund All Passengers Who Watched Asian Doctor Get Assaulted

    No passengers on the plane have mentioned that Dr Dao did anything but refuse to leave the plane when he was ordered to do so. The passenger filmed being violently dragged from a United Airlines flight has spoken out about his ordeal - albeit briefly.
  • Global bishops unite in prayer following Egypt church bombings

    Global bishops unite in prayer following Egypt church bombings

    Following the deadly attack on Palm Sunday, Muslim Egyptians rushed to mosques to donate blood for the victims. Mark's cathedral in Alexandria, where the Coptic Pope Tawadros was presiding at Palm Sunday services.

    Blue Notes: Parayko gets first goal of game for Blues

    The Wild have limited Blues leading scorer Vladimir Tarasenko to just one assist and seven shots on goal in the series. Louis Blues beat the Wild 2-1 on Friday night to leave Minnesota with a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.
    North Korea's failed missile launch a 'provocation', says Mike Pence

    North Korea's failed missile launch a 'provocation', says Mike Pence

    The administration's immediate emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of Beijing. More directly on North Korea, the president returned to a theme of placing much onus on China for reining in the North.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.