Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing made the following statement:
“This is an auspicious moment in Canada as we mark the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. In this same year we will observe the 100th anniversary of other important battles such as those that took place at Passchendaele and Hill 70. In fact, the Canadian battles in the First World War, and especially those that took place in 1917 are considered to be vitally important to forming the Canadian identity that we carry to this day.
While it is important that we remember how Vimy does not stand alone, it is also important that we remember what made it so unique. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first time that all four Canadian divisions were assembled to operate in combat as a corps. They were attempting to do what had proven impossible for allied forces in 1914 and 1915 when hundreds of thousands died in unsuccessful attempts to take the ridge.
The battle, which began on April 9th and lasted until April 12th, cost Canada dearly. Canada suffered nearly 10,600 casualties, and 3,600 of those were fatal.
When we educate young Canadians about the nature of the sacrifice that was made by our country and the ultimate price paid by many patriots in the First World War we also teach them about the events that shaped Canada – especially those that brought us to prominence in the global theatre. It is our job to ensure this history is kept alive, that this sacrifice remains important to those who benefit from the world they inherited that was shaped by great battles and is commemorated by great monuments.