Paying tribute to First World War Veterans who defined a nation
OTTAWA, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada marked the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge today during a solemn ceremony at the National War Memorial, in Ottawa, as Veterans, young people and dignitaries gathered before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
On behalf of the Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform laid a wreath at the sacred monument to mark the symbolic anniversary of the pivotal Great War battle that many historians say gave birth to a united Canadian nation.
At the same time in Vimy, France, Mr. Graeme Clark, Plenipotentiary Minister, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Canada in France, participated in the annual ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
- The capture of Vimy Ridge is a pivotal moment in history for Canada.
- In April 1917, for the first time, all four Canadian divisions fought side by side during the four-day battle.
- Victory did not come without sacrifice: more than 3,600 Canadians were killed in battle and more than 7,000 were wounded.
- Each year on April 9, Canada commemorates the battle and the sacrifices made by soldiers of the Canadian Corps in a service held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France.
"The Battle of Vimy Ridge stands as a symbol of Canadian achievement and sacrifices. During this four-day battle, Canadian units fought together for the first time and took a strategic ridge that had eluded our Allies. In the 98 years since that victory, Vimy has become synonymous with Canadian courage and our willingness to play an active role in the world."
The Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"Commemorating the Battle of Vimy Ridge reminds us of the sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of young Canadians and Newfoundlanders who left their homes and families to fight in Europe during the First World War. We have to keep their memories alive."
The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
Image with caption: "The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment & Social Development and Minister of Democratic Reform, speaks with Veteran John Newell following a ceremony marking the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150409_C4318_PHOTO_EN_14112.jpg
For further information: Martin Magnan, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Janice Summerby, Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468