Winnipeg veterans march to remember Vimy Ridge on 100th anniversary

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The ceremony, which was attended by around 25,000 people - including relatives and loved ones of those who died in the battle, took place on the Canadian National Memorial on the battlefield near Arras.

Among them are members of Liberation Tours, based in Georgina, who took in the moving and stark image of rows upon row of empty boots placed on the Vimy memorial to represent the almost 3,600 who died in what is considered a seminal moment in Canadian history.

PARIS (AP) — More than 20,000 people, a lot of them Canadians, attended a solemn ceremony Sunday to commemorate a World War I battle in northern France that remains indelibly etched on Canada's national identity 100 years after it happened.

Canadian soldiers in the trenches at Vimy Ridge. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial serves as a lasting tribute to the memory and sacrifice of our service members who died in the war, including the 11,285 Canadians who lost their lives in France and have no known graves.

Many Canadians consider the victory at Vimy a significant step toward Canada's colonial emancipation from Britain, but some Canadian historians have debunked the state's official view of its significance.

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"As I see the faces gathered here, veterans, soldiers, caregivers, so many young people, I can't help but feel a torch is being passed", he said. "And they remind us that one can not exist without the other". "We will never forget".

"The soaring monument at Vimy Ridge stands at the site of a decisive victory. They have not only contributed greatly to the peace and security of our country but indeed to the peace and security of Nations near and far beyond our borders", says Serré.

The CAMC was a disciplined unit that was prepared for the daunting task that stood before them. They succeeded where other armies had failed - but at a great cost.

Arras Mayor Frederic Leturque thanked those other countries whose soldiers participated in the battle a century ago: Australians and British, New Zealanders and South Africans.

"These ordinary and extraordinary men of the British dominion fought for the first time as citizens of one and the same country", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in French as he addressed the crowd.

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