British Columbia

Cadets mark Vimy Ridge anniversary in Vancouver with defence minister

Hundreds of cadets with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan marked the Battle of Vimy Ridge at Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery on Sunday to remember a defining moment for the Canadian military.

'All of Canada really bonded together as a whole nation ... it's a sense of pride,' says cadet

Hundreds of cadets in Vancouver attended a ceremony to mark 99 years since Canada fought the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War. (CBC)

Hundreds of cadets marked the Battle of Vimy Ridge at Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery Sunday to remember one of the defining moments for the Canadian military.

In April 1917, Canadian Forces in France were ordered to seize Vimy Ridge. After an intense four day battle, where 3,600 Canadian soldiers died — 700 from B.C. — Canadian soldiers were successful.

"All of Canada really bonded together as a whole nation and really worked together well and just accomplished what the other allies couldn't.," said cadet Justin Ho. "It's a sense of pride."

Canada's Minister of Defence, Harjit Sajjan, attended the memorial to also reflect on what the battle meant for the country. (CBC)

Ho and the other cadets at the cemetery were joined by Canadian Minister of Defence, Harjit Sajjan who also reflected on what Canadian soldiers accomplished at Vimy Ridge.

"And it's because of their sacrifice that we can continue to walk the same streets as they had done," he said.

The victory marked a turning point for the Allied Forces during the First World War along with becoming a symbol in Canada's bid to gain independence from Britain.

Cadets at the Vimy Ridge memorial at Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery say that it's important to continue to mark Canada's military history. (CBC)

Cadets like Ezra Johnson say the memories from Vimy Ridge and what it meant for Canada, need to be kept alive.

"The sense of pride is still there but we have a lot less people show up to these than there used to be," he said of the ceremony.

Sajjan said it's also important to recognize soldiers who continue to serve today.

"We go across Canada, Canadians are extremely appreciative of the sacrifice that's been made by not only our soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, our injured soldiers as well but the ones that are currently serving."

With files from Meera Bains

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