On Sunday, April 9 – Canadians across the country joined together to honour the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge during the First World War.
This year marked the 100th anniversary of the battle in which over 3,600 Canadians lost their lives and 7,000 were wounded. Many people feel the sacrifice of these Canadians turned the tide of the war towards the allies.
“It was the 100th year anniversary of the Battle at Vimy Ridge,” Sylvan Lake Legion #212 President Ed Stevenson said. “There was a very large sacrifice by the Canadian forces. We are celebrating the 100 years since then.”
Around 50-60 Sylvan Lakers joined the Legion members and people all over the world – including a ceremonial event in France at Vimy Ridge, where members of the British Royal Family honoured the Canadians who fought for our freedom.
“We had a full colour guard and a very nice message was delivered regarding the sacrifice,” Stevenson said about the Sylvan Lake Memorial. “The Legion has been always set up to represent what veterans have done for Canada.”
For Stevenson, it is important that Canadians continue to honour all the battles where Canadians sacrificed for the freedom we enjoy today.
“It is significant for the Legion to represent the 100th year and I think all the Legions across Canada did an amazing job representing these veterans that gave their lives freely and unbiased for our freedom,” he said. “I think it is important to celebrate all the battles, this one in particular, because of the great sacrifice of Canadians there. It is important to celebrate all the battles that gave us our freedom and it is our duty to do that because without these battles that cost so many lives, we would not have the freedom we have today.”
Stevenson was pleased to see all the families, young and old, who came out to support the Canadians who lost their lives at Vimy Ridge.
“I think it shows how much we appreciate what these young men did when we went to war,” he said. “It was heartwarming to see all the young families, especially considering many of them might not have lost someone to the war, considering that it is 100 years ago. With the older families, many of them would have a deeper connection to it because somewhere along the line they may have lost family members.”
He added, “It is really significant when you get the younger families because it shows their respect for what has happened in previous years. They are able to benefit from freedom these young men fought for.”