Remembering Vimy Ridge
Sunday, April 9th this year, marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This date marks a significant historical event in World War One, particularly for Canadians, as it was the first time that all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force operated as an interconnected unit.
Vimy Ridge was a strategic battle in part of the larger battle of Arras, in France. Meticulous preparation, extensive training, and individual bravery is credited greatly as being the reason for Canada’s victory. Securing the ridge provided Canada’s allies with an important view of the trenches on both sides of enemy lines, as well as the empty space between them.
The battle was short-lived but experienced staggering casualties. In the three days that it took to win Vimy Ridge from the Germans, over 10,500 Canadians were killed or wounded. Today, the Vimy Ridge Monument stands on Hill 145 which is said to be the location where some of the most violent fighting occurred. It not only honours the soldiers who died at Vimy Ridge, but is inscribed with the names of 11285 Canadians who died in France during the First World War who have no known graves.
While it is also important to recognize that the victory of Vimy Ridge wasn’t won solely by Canadians alone, it is definitely a defining moment in Canadian history and a symbol of Canada’s patriotism, achievement, and sacrifice. As Canadians, we should take time over the next week to remember the century old Battle of Vimy Ridge with renewed respect and reverence.