Below is a statement from Queen Elizabeth II on the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge:
Today, as people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean gather to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, there will be difficult memories of loss and of suffering, but also memories of many heroic acts of bravery and of sacrifice on the part of those who served.
On this day a century ago, thousands of Canadian soldiers stood far from home together with their allies in defence of peace and freedom. They fought courageously and with great ingenuity in winning the strategic high point of Vimy Ridge, though victory came at a heavy cost with more than 10,000 fallen and wounded.
I am pleased that my son The Prince of Wales, and my grandsons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, are attending the commemorations today.
As Colonel-in-Chief; Captain General and Air Commodore-in-Chief of Canadian Armed Forces units, I have often borne witness to the professionalism and dedication, as well as the sense of equality, of respect, of perseverance, of sacrifice and of hope that infuses our military.
It is our duty to remember and honour those who served so valiantly and who gave so much here at Vimy Ridge and throughout the First World War.
MORE ON VIMY RIDGE:
- Watch live: the 100th anniversary ceremony at Vimy
- How precision planning made Canada’s Vimy Ridge victory possible
- Return to Vimy Ridge
- Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917: ‘Like a scene out Dante’
- Why Google mapped Vimy Ridge
- Vimy Ridge Myth #1: Only Canadians fought in the defining battle
- Vimy Ridge Myth #2: Vimy won the war
- Vimy Ridge Myth #3: Canadians scaled a cliff at Vimy
- Vimy Ridge Myth #4: Canada became a nation at Vimy
- How Canada’s bloodiest day at Vimy defined Great War sacrifice
- From the archives: Vimy and Passchendaele: Canada’s bravest and blackest hours
- From the archives: From 1924: With a vagabond around Vimy
- From the archives: What was the price of Vimy Ridge?
- From the archives: Ypres: The price of Canada’s first glory in battle