War sacrifice of Canadian soldiers praised

"This monument is also symbolic of Canada's birth and our enduring commitment to peace", Trudeau said.

About 20,000 people, including many Canadians, are expected to attend the ceremony Sunday, including French President Francois Hollande and British royals Princes Charles, William and Harry.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will lead the commemorations today for the 100 anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France, considered a founding moment in his nation's history.

The Prince of Wales described the efforts of Canadian troops who fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge as setting "an extraordinary example of selflessness for our future generations".

"The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a turning point in the First World War and for Canada, when Canadians acted - and fought - as one", he said.

Trudeau was among the dignitaries to speak at the ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in northern France, where as many as 25,000 people came to honour the Canadians who died in the fighting.

Both Prince William and Prince Harry laid down a pair of boots to commemorate those who fought in battle.

On April 9, 1917, the four Canadian army divisions fought as a unified force for the first time, accomplishing what was thought impossible by the British and French forces - they captured the heavily fortified Vimy Ridge, 175 km north of Paris, France.

Representatives of France, Canada and the United Kingdom are among some 25,000 people expected to attend a memorial event on Sunday (April 9).

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"All the units in Calgary have a connection back to that First World War battle, and I couldn't be prouder of what's been accomplished today, bringing the community together, the citizens of Calgary to commemorate this historic battle".

Canada managed to capture the strategically-positioned ridge but around 3,600 of its soldiers were killed and more than 7,000 others injured.

Registered nurse Kristen Schafer accompanied Cockriell to the ceremony and said she has gained an appreciation for the sacrifices made by soldiers through her work with a doctors who served in Afghanistan.

On Monday, Trudeau will visit World War II sites in the Normandy region.

British and French forces had tried for a long time but failed to take Vimy Ridge.

The cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of soldiers from the Great War, including 700 Canadians.

"Canada, when they took that ridge, took it in four days", he explains. And we must believe it: "Never again".

The palace documented the ceremony on their official Instagram page. The monument consists of a red metallic base with sculptures of soldiers' feet.

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