Battle of Vimy Ridge remembered

(Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) A veteran holds a torch of remembrance during a vigil at the National War Memorial to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 8, 2017.

While Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau told the around 25,000 attending the ceremony that "the monument is also symbolic of Canada's birth and our enduring commitment to peace".

France's president François Hollande led the ritual, which included speeches from Trudeau and Prince Charles.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge, France during the First World War, Calgarians came out to remember the greatest victory in Canadian military history.

Almost 3,600 Canadians died and another 7,000 were wounded during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which is believed by many to be Canada's introduction to the world as a mature, independent nation.

'The Battle of Arras saw the largest amount of Scottish units ever to have fought together, demonstrating once again their significance and contribution to the British Army, whilst the Battle of Vimy Ridge was a defining moment in Canada's history.

Military boots symbolizing dead soldiers are seen at Canadian National Memorial in Vimy, France on Sunday.

Vimy Ridge has become much more than speck on a French map, even much more than a famous World War I battle.

Roughly 3,600 Canadian troops lost their lives and thousands of other soldiers were injured while under British command during the three days of fighting, resulting in the appearance of Trudeau as a mark of respect for the Canadian soldiers.

"We commemorate and thank those who gave of their lives, so that we can preserve the freedom of today", said Saracino. The victory solidified Canada's reputation, but was not without great cost, as it saw more than 10,000 Canadian casualties, including the deaths of 31 P.E.I. soldiers.

Historians today generally agree that Vimy was not the most important of Canada's First World War battles.

At 5:30 a.m. on April 9, 1917, tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers left their trenches and charged the more than six-kilometre-long ridge as almost 1,000 artillery guns fired on German positions. "I went to Vimy Ridge and checked it out and I found his gravestone and took pictures".

Earlier Sunday, Trudeau and French President Francois Hollande unveiled a separate "Poppy of Peace" monument in the town of Arras, a few kilometers from Vimy.

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