This is Vimy Week, culminating April 9 with a ceremony at the Vimy National Memorial in France on the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
It was during this battle that all Canadian divisions in the First World War fought together for the first time and succeeded, where others had failed, to capture this keystone of the German defence.
The 14-kilometre ridge protected mines and factories in occupied France which were supplying Germany, and was heavily defended. Attempts to take the ridge over the previous three years had already cost more than a quarter of a million casualties—160,000 British and French, 100,000 German defenders.
Many believe it was during the First World War that Canada’s identity metamorphosized from that of a colony into a nation, particularly due to the pride in the Canadian-led, Canadian-planned and Canadian-fought Battle of Vimy Ridge. “In those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation,” Brigadier-General A.E. Ross said.
To see activities planned in your province, check out the Veterans Affairs Canada website.