Chilliwack marks 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge victory

Rev. Tom Hamilton said thousands of Canadian soldiers waited silently in the trenches and tunnels beneath Vimy Ridge just before dawn on Easter Monday of April 9, 1917.

It was the first time that four military divisions from Canada fought together as the Canadian Corps.

A second ceremony was held at the memorial Sunday morning, with sentries posted at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, along with music, theatrical performances and an Indigenous smudging ceremony.

The battle would last four days, and more than 10,600 Canadian soldiers would be wounded or killed.

South-Thompson MLA Todd Stone, MLA Cathy McLeod, and Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar also made a speech in front of the large-sized crowd.

"Those spires stand for peace and for freedom", Johnston said.

"We must work hard together to prevent the scale of losses that we saw throughout the 20th century", Trudeau said.

"However, victory came at an unbearably heavy cost".

"As soldiers we dedicate ourselves to our country, and Vimy Ridge is indicative to what being a soldier is, which is protecting and serving Canadians", he said.

The Vimy Ridge commemoration is not an annual event for the Legion, which will host the local commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic on May 7.

But Vimy's real importance and power appears to be in the fact that many Canadians believe it is important, which is why they will watch and listen as the country looks back in time.

Islanders gathered for a somber ceremony at the Charlottetown cenotaph Sunday to remember the soldiers who fought in the battle of Vimy Ridge. In the words of one veteran: 'We went up Vimy Ridge as Albertans and Nova Scotians.

Trudeau's visit to the beach does not coincide with any World War II anniversary.

"All of those were things that I think came to mark Canadians not only as warriors", he says, "but to some degree how we carry out our day-to-day affairs". And we thank every Canadian who has answered the call to serve for their selflessness and sacrifice.

  • Carolyn Briggs