April 9, 2019 – 102nd Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge
I would like to join all Canadians in commemorating the 102nd Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, marked the beginning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, with all four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time. The Commander of the 28th Battalion at Vimy, Brigadier-General Alexander Ross, said of the battle at the unveiling of the new Vimy Memorial in 1936, “It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then…that in those minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation”. Under Major-General Arthur Currie, the 1st Division Canadian Commander, a full-scale replica of the battle area was laid out and the troops repeated rehearsals on the plan of attack. An underground network tunnels and subways assisted in easy transport and protection for the troops. Canada’s victory was a result of technical and strategic innovations; powerful artillery preparation; and, sound and meticulous planning.
Canada’s victory came with a heavy price; we cannot forget to pay tribute to the 10,602 brave Canadian soldiers who fought valiantly at Vimy in World War I, of which 3,598 lost their lives. The Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge fought for peace, freedom and the values that we, as Canadians, hold dear.
Today, we remember their bravery and achievement through their effort and sacrifice. As we mark the hundredth and second anniversary, this is a time to remember the lessons of history and develop a deeper understanding of our duty and responsibility to our fellow man.
Together, we stand united with all members of the Canadian Forces who are currently serving our country, both here and abroad, as they stand up for justice and peace. Lest We Forget.