Wreath laid for 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge in Port

Prince William and his brother Harry laid boots on the memorial in memory of the fallen soldiers. Although Queen Elizabeth II wasn't in attendance, she did send out a public message paying tribute to the Canadian troops who "stood far from home together with their allies in defence of peace and freedom". The World War I battle was a costly victory for Canada, but one that helped shape the former British colony's national identity.

"In this sense, Canada was born there", Trudeau said.

A historian also went through the facts of the Vimy Ridge battle, and it ended with the playing of The Last Post and Reveille, then a blank shell was sacked from a 105 mm field gun, like the ones used to bombard enemy positions a hundred years ago.

"I'm in my last two days of service, so I wanted to make sure I came here for Vimy and also to remember all the folks who are in uniform and served and made the ultimate sacrifice", Perrin said, holding onto his grandfather's service medals.

In that four-day battle, 3,600 Canadian troops would be killed and 7,000 injured, but the Canadians did what no other army could by winning a pivotal battle that shifted the course of the war toward an Allied victory.

Hunter adds that honouring our country's veterans on the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge is just as important as doing so on Remembrance Day.

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On Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to visit the fertile countryside, where any hill with a view was fought over with a blind determination costing thousands of lives. It is truly an honour to be here to recognize the more than 650,000 fearless Canadians who served in the First World War and commemorate our proud history. I can say without hesitation that Manitobans have never forgotten, and we will never forget, the sacrifice made by our courageous men and women in uniform.

Instead, rain and sleet and artillery shells had lashed what then was a muddy, bloody battlefield as 30,000 Canadian soldiers huddled in trenches and waited for the assault to kick off.

In 1936, as Canadians and many others around the world watched the Vimy monument's unveiling, retired brigadier-general Alexander Ross famously intoned that the battle had marked "the birth of a nation".

"The soaring monument at Vimy Ridge stands at the site of a decisive victory".

Those who herald the importance of Vimy acknowledge all this, but say it is what Vimy has come to represent over the years and decades that matters.

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