OTTAWA, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement today regarding the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Arras and the capture of Vimy Ridge.
"Ninety-eight years ago on Easter Monday, April 9, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought side by side for the first time in the attack at Vimy Ridge. On that wind-swept ridge in Northern France in 1917, Canadian soldiers secured one of the most impressive victories of the First World War, helping earn our nation a place on the international stage. But the price of victory was steep—close to 3,600 Canadians gave their lives in the name of freedom.
"Today, the majestic Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge serves as a lasting tribute to the sacrifices made by the selfless men and women who served our country during the First World War, and acts as a potent reminder of the battle fought on those very fields.
"Ninety-eight years later, we continue to acknowledge with pride Canada's role in defending the ideals of freedom, democracy and the rule of law—the very foundations of our own nation.
"We gratefully acknowledge and honour the courage and the cost paid by those brave Canadians 98 years ago, and we commit them to our memory. We will always remember."
For more information on the Battle of Vimy Ridge, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Contacts: Martin Magnan, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468