Dozens gather for Vimy Ridge ceremony at Old City Hall
Sunday's service marked 101st anniversary of battle, centenary of World War I
Dozens gathered at Old City Hall on Sunday to honour those who served in the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Flags were raised at the ceremony, wreaths were laid and there was a moment of silence.
Both the French and Canadian national anthems were played and poems In Flanders Fields and Nimrod were also read.
Sports commentator Dana McKiel was at Sunday's service and says he had a great grandfather and two great uncles who took part in the battle. He hopes that people will look back at history and understand the mistakes that were made.
"We have to be very careful to emphasize, especially to the younger people that we need peace in order to be able to continue civilizations as it is," he said. "If we don't, we're going to have some major problems later on down the road."
Joanne Sutherland says she attended the service in memory of her father and that as a child she didn't hear much from him about the war.
"As a small child, I used to bug him, I guess you would say, asking him questions," she said. "He would talk about the terrible weather of the battle, the rats, the bully beef they were fed, but he wouldn't talk about what took place."
"I came to realize this as I got a bit older — seven, eight years of age — that it was a wall I shouldn't come to, that I was not to ask questions anymore," Sutherland added. "Before he died, I tried to get a little bit more out of him, and again the wall was still there. I was not to ask."
She also found herself wondering what could have happened to the men who lost their lives in the war.
"They had no idea, I think, of what they were getting themselves into," she said. "You wonder how many of those lying in the fields of France might have been a prime minister of Canada or what their contribution to Canada [might have been] if they had the opportunity to live."