April 9, 2013
/CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, the Honourable
, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip, was joined by His Excellency Philippe Zeller, Ambassador of
at a wreath-laying ceremony held at the National War Memorial to mark the 96
anniversary of the Battle of
. Veterans, youth, and members of the Canadian Armed Forces were also in attendance.
"The Battle of
was a distinctively Canadian triumph and it represents
courage, strength, and coming of age as a nation" said Minister Blaney. "Today, we remember and honour the sacrifices of those who served
96 years ago."
has been designated by Parliament as
Vimy Ridge Day
. During this year's annual wreath-laying ceremony, youth from the Encounters with
program, the Army Cadets and the War Amps Operation Legacy, and representatives of Veterans' organizations laid poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
"It is truly inspiring to see young Canadians so deeply engaged in remembering those who defended our values of peace, freedom, and democracy" said Minister O'Connor. "These youth play a crucial role in ensuring that the legacy of
service men and women will be passed on to future generations."
It was 96 years ago on
, in 1917, that the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought side-by-side for the first time and captured
. By the fourth day,
, Canadians controlled the entire ridge. The victory at Vimy was not without a price. There were more than 10,600 casualties—of those, approximately 3,600 sacrificed their lives.
For more information on
contribution to the Battle of
during the First World War, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website at
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law.