Minister Fantino pays tribute to Canadians who fought during the First World War
VIMY, France, April 9, 2014 /CNW/ - On the occasion of the 97th anniversary of the Battle of Arras and the Capture of Vimy Ridge, Canadian and French citizens gathered today at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, in France, to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who fought so valiantly at Vimy Ridge during the First World War.
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, addressed French and Canadian officials, Veterans and others in attendance. He paid tribute to the Canadian Corps, whose four full divisions fought side by side for the first time during the four-day battle, and honoured the memory of all the brave men and women who served during the First World War.
- The capture of Vimy Ridge is an important milestone for Canada. On that wind-swept ridge in northern France in April 1917, Canadian soldiers earned one of the most impressive victories of the First World War. That victory did not come without cost: approximately 3,600 Canadians were killed and more than 7,000 were wounded.
- Each year on April 9, Canada remembers that battle, and the sacrifices of those Canadians, in commemorative services held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
- Four Canadians earned the Victoria Cross, Canada's highest medal for military valour, for actions during the battle: Private William Milne, Lance-Sergeant Ellis Sifton, Captain Thain MacDowell and Private John Pattison.
"The Battle of Vimy Ridge remains one of the most powerful moments in our military history, a victory for Canada on the world stage, though with much sacrifice. While Canadians mourn the loss of so many lives, we take pride in the valour of those who fought at Vimy Ridge in the name of peace, security, and freedom."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of Veterans of Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada