Trudeau Marks Vimy Ridge Anniversary

By: Laura Steiner

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The battle began April 9, 1917.

“One hundred years ago, on a gentle slope in France, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought for the first time as one. They were ordinary – yet extraordinary – men, from all corners of the country: Francophone, Anglophone, new Canadians, Indigenous Peoples,” Trudeau said in the statement.  The Canadian divisions had never fought together.

The battle of Vimy Ridge lasted until April 12, 1917.  Approximately 3600 Canadians died, with over 7,000 injured.  It’s known as one of the bloodiest battles in Canadian history.  The Canadians’ goal was to take the high ground from the Germans.

Trudeau attended ceremonies in France marking the occasion with Governor General David Johnston, French President François Hollande, and members of the Royal family.  “I can’t help but feel a torch has been passed,” Trudeau said, according to media reports.  High school students from schools across Canada made the trip to France for the occasion.

It was Prince Charles’ first trip to Vimy Ridge.  He spoke of Canada’s character.  “The Canadians at Vimy embodied the true north, strong and free,” he said according to a transcript.  Princes William, and Harry accompanied their father.  Prince Charles was among those who placed a wreath on the monument.