The Battle of Vimy Ridge

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It was 96 years ago, on Easter Monday that our great country took part in perhaps the most significant battle in Canadian history; a battle that would forever hold a special place in our hearts and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. Good morning your Majesty, President Francois Hollande, Prime minister Stephen Harper, the 5000 Canadian students and honourable guests who are joining us here today. The search for the Canadian identity needs to go no further than the Memorial at Vimy Ridge.

Many historians and writers consider the Canadian victory at Vimy a defining moment for Canada, when the country emerged from under the shadow of Britain and felt capable of greatness. Canadian troops also earned a reputation as formidable, effective troops because of the stunning success. But it was a victory at a terrible cost, with more than 10,000 killed and wounded. The memorial shows Canadian identity because of the many people who sacrificed themselves for the love of the great nation that they helped build. The capture of Vimy was more than just an important battlefield victory. For the first time all four Canadian divisions attacked together: men from all regions of Canada were present at the battle. Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the war, "in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation." Under the teachings of General Arthur Currie they were taught discipline and trust in each other to accomplish the victory. This gave them a huge boost of morale due to the faith that the Canadian soldiers received. Auther Currie became perhaps the greatest general Canada has ever produced. A French historian once told his students “nations are made by doing things together”. This shows that when this great country was united under solidarity, no matter the pressure they had, they could conquer a spot that nobody else could.

At the beginning of the war, Canadians were regarded as untrained, disorderly soldiers that could only be used for man...
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