Premier Gordon Campbell issued the following statement today in recognition of Vimy Ridge Day, April 9th:
"On Vimy Ridge, in April 1917, four Canadian divisions drew together to fight as one army for the first time. They advanced for the assault on Vimy Ridge, a key position that had been held by German forces for three years.
The three-day battle for Vimy Ridge involved more than 100,000 soldiers and officers who struggled through mud and biting snow over collapsed trenches, to seize armaments and ground, until the battle was won.
The greatest Allied victory so far in the Great War had been won by Canadians, who suffered more than 10,000 casualties in those three days.
Today, the battlefield is the site of the memorial where 100 hectares of peace and tranquillity have been deeded to Canada in perpetuity. The 11,285 names inscribed on the base of the Vimy Monument silently count Canadians missing and presumed dead in France. More than 7,000 Canadians are buried in 30 war cemeteries within 16 kilometres of Vimy.
Almost a hundred years after the call to arms, our appreciation to that great generation remains steadfast. We are grateful that in the magnificent country Canada has become, young men and women still willingly volunteer to serve our country in dangerous areas of the world. We keep today's Canadian Forces and their dedication and bravery, in our thoughts.
April 9 is Vimy Ridge Day. I urge British Columbians to sign the Book of Reflection at the legislature to remember our great accomplishment as a country at Vimy Ridge and those brave young Canadians who answered Canada's call to arms.
For those who are unable to visit the Legislature, I encourage them to sign online at:www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=feature/crfww/crfww_msgbrd"