By Miranda Alexander-Webber
April 9, 2017
ARRAS, France (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led commemorations on Sunday marking the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France in which over 3,500 Canadian soldiers were among the dead.
A giant poppy made up of messages of love and gratitude was unveiled at Heroes Square in the town of Arras where Hollande and Trudeau wrote their own notes and placed them among others.
The Canadian armed forces, representing the four battalions that fought in the 1917 battle, conducted a military parade at sunset on Saturday, the eve of the centenary.
During the First World War battle on Easter Monday in 1917, over 3,500 Canadian soldiers, many of them below 20 years old, died while capturing the ridge in a fierce battle with German forces.
Hollande, Trudeau and British princes Charles, William and Harry were to take part in a ceremony later on Sunday expected to draw some 25,000 people.
Copyright Reuters 2017
(Reporting by Miranda Alexander-Webber; Writing by Bate Felix; editing by Mark Heinrich)
Related works on F&O:
A philosopher asks: what do we owe the dead? By Janna Thompson
Remembrance Day is an occasion when people are supposed to remember and honour those who died in their nation’s wars. But why should we believe that this obligation exists? The dead are dead. … read more
World and War, By Deborah Jones
Every person who fought in World War I is now dead – and yet no one alive today is unaffected. The war consumed much of the globe for, arguably, decades. Many contend that the unresolved conflicts of the “Great War” re-ignited to become the conflagration we call World War II, then set in motion events from the Cold War to today’s Middle Eastern conflicts. A century after it began, I am most astonished at the hubris. … read more
Far from Flanders Fields, By Deborah Jones
It’s at Ypres that my imagination falters, along with my tenuous grasp of poet John McCrae’s identity, and interest in the tiresome debate over the merits and meanings of his poem In Flanders Fields. It’s because of Ypres I am unable to imagine a man with the sensitivity of a poet and the intelligence of a physician harbouring “romantic” notions of war in the conditions of 1915 trench warfare. … read more
Facts and Opinions is a boutique journal of reporting and analysis in words and images, without borders. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O is funded by our readers. It is ad-free and spam-free, and does not solicit donations from partisan organizations. To continue we require a minimum payment of .27 for one story, or a sustaining donation. Details here; donate below. Thanks for your interest and support.