From Veterans Affairs Canada:
Today, at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France, Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, international military representatives, dignitaries, Canadian and French citizens, and youth gathered to solemnly remember and honour the supreme effort and sacrifices of the Canadian soldiers who went into battle at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.
Extensive preparation and planning were key to victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where, for the first time, all four divisions of the Canadian Corps courageously worked together as one formation. Their triumph at Vimy and in the battles that followed contributed to a new and stronger sense of national identity, both for Canadians and on the international stage, earning Canada a separate signature on the Treaty of Versailles that officially ended the First World War.
At a reception following the ceremony, visitors and local dignitaries learned more about a new Visitor Education Centre currently being constructed at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. The product of a Government of Canada partnership with the Vimy Foundation, the Centre will provide visitors to the national historic site with comprehensive and meaningful information about Canada’s contribution to the First World War, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Centre is scheduled to open in April 2017.
- 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.
- Vimy Ridge is located in northern France, about 175 kilometres north of Paris.
- Victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge came at great cost. Of the some 100,000 members of the Canadian Corps who served in the battle, some 3,600 lost their lives and over 7,000 more were wounded.
- The Visitor Education Centre at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial will open in April 2017 as part of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada.
“The Government of Canada remains committed to ensuring that the valiant sacrifices of Canadians at Vimy are remembered for generations to come.”
The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Canadian Ambassador to France
“We have a responsibility to remember and honour Canada’s fallen of the First World War on Vimy Ridge Day, and on all days. It was their commitment and sacrifice which helped give life to our identity as a nation. I am pleased that the Visitor Education Centre at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial will help showcase this defining moment in Canadian history. Through remembrance and education, we will keep this memory alive”
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“The Vimy Foundation is proud to be a partner of the Government of Canada on this exciting project to build the Visitor Education Centre. This Centre is much needed and will help provide the necessary historical context for what visitors, especially youth, see throughout the Vimy site. We look forward to officially opening the Centre in conjunction with Vimy Centennial commemorative activities in April 2017.”
Jeremy Diamond, Executive Director, The Vimy Foundation