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March 28, 2007
For immediate release
Special Event Commemorates 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge
Community and Cultural Affairs
During the ceremony, representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion layed wreaths at the foot of the cenotaph, and World War Two veteran Milton Fitzpatrick spoke on behalf of Canadian Veterans. Master of Ceremonies was Jim Ross.
In his declaration to commemorate the event, Premier Binns encouraged Prince Edward Islanders to, “Pause to honour the significant achievement of Canada’s First World War Veterans at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and to recognize all those who served in Canada’s Forces in times of armed conflict and in peace.”
The Confederation Centre Youth Chorus sang the National Anthem and a selection of other songs during the ceremony. The 45-member Confederation Centre Youth Chorus will be travelling to France next week, where they will participate in a commemorative event at the Vimy Memorial on April 7 and will then perform at the anniversary and dedication at the newly restored Canadian National Vimy Memorial on April 9.
The Premier congratulated the Confederation Centre Youth Choir and other Islanders preparing to travel to France to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
“You will see first hand the newly restored Canadian National Vimy Memorial and I know you will be touched by the significance of this monument, which stands for peace, justice, truth, knowledge and sacrifice,” he said.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge began on April 9, 1917 when 20,000 Canadian soldiers advanced on the battlefront. Canadians troops captured Vimy Ridge, a feat which other allied forces were unable to accomplish. By April 12, the Canadians controlled the entire ridge, however, victory came at a great cost: 3,598 Canadian soldiers were killed and 7,104 were wounded. Vimy Ridge was the first Allied victory in almost a year and a half and the ridge provided a leverage point behind the lines from which an extremely effective counter-attack was launched.
There are two Canadian veterans of the First World War still living, both are more than 100 years old.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial was built on land donated to Canada by France. It was unveiled on July 26, 1936. The Memorial has recently undergone massive renovations and, on April 9, 2007, will be the site of a major commemorative event for the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.