Canadians gathered at the National War Memorial to honour those who fought in the First World War
OTTAWA, April 8, 2017 /CNW/ - Veterans Affairs Canada organized an evening of remembrance at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The Government of Canada presented a beautiful candlelight tribute and overnight vigil, led by the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, as well as a spectacular illumination and musical performances. The illumination was projected on the National War Memorial and adjacent screens. Spectators were moved by the combination of light, technology and remembrance at the memorial. The variety of commemorative activities were designed to bring Canadians, especially youth, together, to honour Canada's victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and contribution to the First World War.
Rotating throughout the night, members of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets will stay at the memorial until 6:38 a.m. (sunrise) on April 9 to carry out the overnight vigil.
"The atmosphere at the National War Memorial this evening was incredibly moving. The combination of the solemn candlelight tribute and the spectacular illumination was such an inspiring way to remember the men and women who served our country during the First World War. I hope all Canadians take the time to remember and mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge tomorrow. We must never forget their sacrifice and service."
Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
- Part of the broader Arras offensive, the Battle of Vimy Ridge began on the morning of April 9, 1917. The four-day battle was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together as one formation. The Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge is considered to be a defining moment for Canada.
- Victory in the Battle of Vimy Ridge came at a great cost. Of the some 100,000 members of the Canadian Corps who served in the battle, approximately 3,600 lost their lives and over 7,000 more were wounded.
- More than 650,000 Canadians would serve in uniform by the end of the First World War. The conflict took a huge toll, with more than 66,000 Canadians losing their lives and 170,000 being wounded.
- Canada's most impressive tribute overseas to those Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the First World War is the majestic and inspiring Canadian National Vimy Memorial which overlooks the Douai Plain from the highest point of Vimy Ridge, about ten kilometres north of Arras.
- On April 3, 2003, the Government of Canada designated April 9th of each year as a national day of remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
2017 is a special year of commemoration for Canada as we remember the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele and as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.