The Upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge
by MPP Jim McDonell
QUEEN’S PARK – One hundred years ago, on Easter Monday 1917, four Canadian Corps divisions deployed in Europe for the Great War began a three-day battle against three German divisions at Vimy Ridge. This was the first occasion on which all divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together and the battle has defined Canadian courage, valor and determination ever since. It wasn’t just a strategic triumph and a military victory on the Western Front – the battle of Vimy Ridge brought together and inspired Canadians and continues to do so to this day. In the words of a Canadian officer who witnessed the battle: “It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade… In those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation.” Nearly one in ten Canadians answered the call to arms by volunteering in the Canadian Corps, and 60,000 of them never came back. Ten thousand perished at Vimy alone, leaving a mark on every community across our nation. On Vimy Ridge Day, every April 9, we honour the memory of those who, through their bravery, made Canadian forces known, on that day in 1917, as an elite and professional force. After one hundred years, their valor and sacrifice still inspire us and command our gratitude.