The Canadian National Vimy Memorial, towering above the former Western Front battlefields, commemorates all Canadians who fought in the First World War (Photo: Centenary News)

Battle of Vimy Ridge Centenary - Canada pays tribute, April 2017

Posted on centenarynews.com on 12 January 2017
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Canada will hold ceremonies on 9 April 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the First World War victory seen as a defining moment for the country.

Official commemorations will take place at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and in major cities across Canada.

Due to heightened security, those planning to attend the Canadian National Vimy Memorial event must register online by February 28.  Site restrictions will be in force from April 1-10. See Veterans Affairs Canada for details.

There are plans to broadcast to broadcast the Vimy service so that all Canadians may join together in remembrance.

A Canadian Government delegation, including veterans, regimental and youth representatives and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will travel to France in early April to attend events.

"A century later, we must ensure that the memory of the great sacrifices and achievements of our men and women in uniform during the First World War and the significant achievements at the Battle of Vimy Ridge live on," said Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

"This is a time to honour the service and sacrifice of those who were there for our country, at home and abroad, when we needed them, and pay tribute by remembering and honouring them."

The names of 11,285 Canadian soldiers killed in France during the Great War, whose final resting places are unknown, are commemorated on the Vimy Memorial (Photo: Centenary News)

The Canadian assault on Vimy Ridge was part of the wider British-led offensive at Arras in April 1917.

All four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together as one formation for the first time, capturing German positions on heights overlooking the plains of Northern France on this sector of the Western Front.

As such, it is seen as a defining moment in Canada's emergence as an independent nation from the British Empire.

Canadian forces suffered more than 10,000 casualties in the attack, including almost 3,600 dead.

The soaring Vimy Memorial was unveiled in 1936, on the ridge and surrounding land ceded by the French Government in perpetuity in recognition of Canada's sacrifice during the Great War.

As part of this year's Centenary, a new Visitor Education Centre, constructed with support from the Vimy Foundation, will open at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in April.

Also in Centenary News:

Canada's Vimy Oaks returning to France for Centenary.

Battle of Arras Centenary - Dawn Ceremony to unveil The Earth Remembers memorial to New Zealand tunnellers.

Source: Canadian Government (Veterans Affairs Canada)

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team

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