Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Hollande, Trudeau Pay Tribute to Canada's WWI Casualties

Nellie Chapman | 20 April, 2017, 06:53

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, takes a selfie with military personnel following the Poppy of Peace Ceremony in Arras, France on Sunday, April 9, 2017.

"This monument is also symbolic of Canada's birth and our enduring commitment to peace", Trudeau said.

The Prince of Wales described the efforts of Canadian troops who fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, launched 100 years ago to the day, as setting "an extraordinary example of selflessness for our future generations".

As many as 25,000 Canadians are expected to join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and bow their heads in solemn remembrance at the nation's Vimy memorial to honour service and sacrifice.

Sir Michael, who will attend the event in France commemorating the Battle of Vimy Ridge, said national armies which work together were 'continuing to make the world a safer and more secure place'.

The War Museum also opened its doors to the public Sunday for a free visit and a live stream viewing of the sister ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Monument in France.

The battle began early on April 9, 1917 and was part of a larger British-led offensive that included Australian soldiers, known as the Battle of Arras, which was a diversionary tactic to help a major French attack further south.

Largely because of its military achievement in northern France, the North American country was a separate signatory to the treaty that ended World War I. And we thank every Canadian who has answered the call to serve for their selflessness and sacrifice. The battle saw them handle over 10,000 soldiers who were killed or wounded over a four day period.

They've been in the country since Thursday, visiting historic sites from the First World War.

Sunday's commemorative ceremony in Vimy is being billed as a chance to mark what has come to be seen as a seminal moment in Canada's history.

"(The Canadians) succeeded in seizing the vital high ground of Vimy - a task in which many others before them had failed", Prince Charles said.

The battle has become an important part of Canada's national identity, symbolizing the shift from a former British colony to a nation on its own.

"The victory at Vimy Ridge earned a young Canada a place on the worldwide stage. We're never the same after the First World War".

The government of Canada is hosted the ceremony, which will speeches from officials and performances by famous Canadian artists, including singer Loreena McKennitt.