Ontario To Commemorate 90th Anniversary Of Vimy Ridge Victory
Premier McGuinty Invites Ontarians To Special Ceremony At Veterans’ Memorial
Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today that a special Ceremony of Remembrance marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge will take place on Monday, April 9, 2007 at the Veterans' Memorial on the front lawn of Queen's Park in Toronto.
"We owe a great debt of gratitude to the thousands of Canadians who risked or gave their lives in the Battle of Vimy Ridge," said Premier McGuinty. "It is our solemn duty as citizens to remember their sacrifice, honour their selfless courage and preserve the peace they earned for us -- on this anniversary and always."
The Ceremony of Remembrance will begin at 9:45 a.m. The traditional service will include two minutes of silence and the sounding of the last post.
The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Premier McGuinty and Brigadier-General Guy Thibault will speak at the ceremony.
Major-General Richard Rohmer, co-Chair of the Veterans' Memorial Committee and former Chief of Reserves said, "The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought by brave reservists from farms, cities, towns and villages from all across Canada. Their sacrifice and victory will be remembered on April 9 not only at Ontario's Veterans' Memorial, but also at the magnificent, newly restored Canadian monument at Vimy Ridge."
Capturing Vimy Ridge is considered one of Canada's greatest triumphs during the First World War, contributing to an Allied victory and peace in Western Europe. It was also a pivotal battle that helped define Canada as a nation.
Nearly 3,600 Canadian soldiers gave their lives and over 7,000 were wounded in four days of fighting. Today, a national memorial stands atop the ridge as a permanent tribute to all Canadians who served in battle in France.
Ontario's new Veterans' Memorial consists of a 30-metre-long granite wall, etched with scenes from Canada's military history. It is dedicated to every brave man and woman who served with courage in times of war and in peace.
For directions to the memorial or for more information on the ceremony, Ontarians can visit ontario.ca/veterans.