Vimy Ridge focus of tributes

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau was among the dignitaries to speak at the ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in northern France.

Roughly 3,600 Canadian troops lost their lives and thousands of other soldiers were injured while under British command during the three days of fighting, resulting in the appearance of Trudeau as a mark of respect for the Canadian soldiers.

Military boots symbolizing dead soldiers are seen at Canadian National Memorial in Vimy, France on Sunday. Today, we honour and remember the thousands of Canadians who gave their lives at Vimy Ridge.

"Those that fought at Vimy tell us that nationalism only leads to war and that fundamentalism only leads to destruction", he said.

Men from all backgrounds and places, but all of them proudly wearing the "Canada" shoulder badge that separated them from the millions of other soldiers on the Western Front.

There had been bloodier battles for the Canadians - 24,000 were killed or wounded at the Somme as compared to 11,000 at Vimy.

While Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau said: "The burden, they bore".

"On this day a century ago, after months of careful planning and surveillance, through considerable innovations in tactics and technology, and after remarkable determination and courage, the Canadian Corps took Vimy Ridge", he said.

The sacrifice of First World War Canadian soldiers who helped forge peace in Europe and a national identity for their country has been praised by world leaders at a ceremony. Their sacrifices left an indelible mark on our history, and spurred the emergence of a Canadian national consciousness.

Before the ceremony Charles and his sons will tour some of the conflict's trenches that were reconstructed a few years after the end of the First World War.

In 1997, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France was designated as a Canadian National Historic Site.

Lt. -Col. Kyle Clapperton, Commander of the Calgary Highlanders, says this shows how all of Calgary has a link to Vimy Ridge. Clapperton. "As a country, we came together".

French President Francois Hollande said Vimy's soldiers "are still speaking to us".

Canadian troops prepared carefully, learning from the mistakes of previous attempts to reclaim the ridge. "We're never the same after the First World War".

Canada's victory at Vimy became a nation-building moment for English Canada at a time when the young country, a former colony of Great Britain, was still very much attached to Britain.



Other news