In recognition of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

I rise on behalf of the Liberal Party to pay tribute to the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This day in 1917 marked the beginning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

This day in 1917 marked the beginning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. On that day, four divisions of Canada’s corps began their attack on the German-held position on that ridge. This would mark the first time that the four divisions of the Canadian expeditionary force would fight together. Men from all parts of Canada came together to fight as a cohesive unit. Over these three days that the battle would last, they captured the German position, which the French and the British had previously failed to accomplish.

We remember this date each year because it’s an incredibly symbolic piece of Canadian history. The battle was fought when Canada was still a very young nation and accomplished something that greater military powers had not. This was an announcement to the old world that the former colony was now a nation. For this, the Battle of Vimy Ridge is viewed as a nation-building moment for Canada.

For what this battle means to Canadian nationalism, we must also remember the 3,598 Canadians who paid the ultimate sacrifice over those three days in France. Symbolically, it represents what had been Canada’s traditional foreign policy values — punching well above our weight and participating in conflicts to defend our allies in foreign countries. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a defining moment for all of us Canadians. Its centennial will coincide with Canada’s 150th birthday and will remind us all of the most significant moments as we reflect on the many events that built this amazing nation of ours.