Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

April 09, 2012 15:56 ET

Youth Keep the Torch of Remembrance Lit as Canada Remembers the Battle of Vimy Ridge

VIMY, FRANCE--(Marketwire - April 9, 2012) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today joined international dignitaries, representatives of Veterans' organizations, members of the Canadian Forces, Canadian youth and members of the public in honouring those who fought and died in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Governor General and the Minister marked the 95th anniversary of the battle by attending a special commemorative ceremony held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.

"The journey to Vimy helps Canadians understand the courage and sacrifices of those who fought for a free and peaceful world. The Battle of Vimy Ridge helped define Canada as a nation as we made our mark on the world stage," said Minister Blaney. "By teaching youth about the courage and perseverance shown by the young Canadians who fought during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, we are helping to create a new generation that will help shape the future of our great country. The youth here have been witness to the sacrifice of Vimy and will move forward with the same determination as those who fought with pride and conviction 95 years ago."

Close to 5,000 Canadian youth also participated in the ceremony by lighting a Torch of Remembrance-an important symbol of their commitment to remember the sacrifices and achievements of Canada's Veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Youth are encouraged to make wide use of Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to share the story of Canadian sacrifice and victory at Vimy Ridge.

In addition to the Governor General and the Minister, a number of dignitaries attended the commemorative ceremony and laid wreaths in honour of the fallen, including: Marc Laffineur, Secretary of State for the Minister of Defence and Veterans in France; Bertrand Alexandre, Conseiller General, representing Dominique Dupilet, President of Conseil General; Daniel Percheron, President of Conseil Regional;Yves Delrue, Deputy Mayor responsible for Veterans representing Frederic Leturque, Mayor of Arras; local mayors; representatives of the Canadian Forces and representatives of Canadian Veterans' organizations.

Ceremonies were also held in Canada today to honour the 95th anniversary of the battle. In Ottawa, Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, attended the ceremony at the National War Memorial and laid a wreath in honour of those who served during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Representatives from Canadian Veterans' organizations, Canadian youth, parliamentarians and other special guests also participated in the wreath-laying ceremony.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge stands as an enduring symbol of Canada's victories and sacrifices during the First World War. The battle, which raged between April 9 and 12 of 1917, marked the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps in France came together in battle. Victory at Vimy came swiftly but not without cost. More than 10,600 Canadians were wounded, and of these approximately 3,600 soldiers died. For their heroic efforts, four Canadians earned the Victoria Cross.

For more information on the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.veterans.gc.ca. Share your thoughts at www.facebook.com/CanadaRemembers.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120409-Vimy0409_800.jpg

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    613-992-7468

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    613-996-4649