Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Today is Vimy Ridge Day

Did you know that April 9th is Vimy Ridge Day in Canada?

The Battle of Vimy Ridge began on April 9, 1917, during the First World War. This marked the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps, men from across Canada, went into battle together. 

At Vimy Ridge, the Canadians did what no other Allied forces could not: they took Vimy Ridge. Previous assaults on the area had failed with over 100 000 casualities. To capture this difficult position, the Canadians carefully planned and practiced their assault.  The success came at a cost, however, as 3 598 Canadians were killed and over 7 000 were wounded.

The capture of Vimy Ridge was more than an important battlefield victory. It is viewed as the defining moment in Canadian history as the moment Canada broke free from the shadows of England and the Empire. The Canadian success earned Canada a separate signature on the Treaty of Versailles peace treaty in 1919.

In 1922, France donated a large portion of the land of Vimy Ridge to Canada for use as a memorial. The Vimy Monument now stands on top of Hill 145, the most important and strategic part of the ridge. 

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