Trudeau says Canada 'was born' at French battle as he marks centenary

Sophie Gregoire; and Trudeau's son Xavier attend a commemoration ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on Sunday.

Previous attempts to capture the ridge resulted in the deaths of more than 150,000 French and British soldiers.

Today, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), along with all Canadians, would like to acknowledge the courageous soldiers, and in particular, the physicians who contributed to the Battle of Vimy Ridge 100 years ago.

Prince William, Prince Harry and Justin Trudeau remembered those who sacrificed their lives in the Battle Vimy Ridge.

In that four-day battle, 3,600 Canadian troops would be killed and 7,000 injured, but the Canadians did what no other army could by winning a pivotal battle that shifted the course of the war toward an Allied victory. And as was mentioned at the parade, we know that Vimy wasn't just a Canadian battle, it was a battle of the British Armed Forces. Prince Harry and Prince William placed the final pair of boots on a war memorial, and they all walked in the trenches the soldiers used during the war.

As for unity, there are those who say Vimy actually exacerbated divisions between English-Canada, which supported the war, and French-Canada, which opposed it, by pushing the country closer to conscription.

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At Vimy Ridge, regiments from coast to coast saw action together in a distinctly Canadian triumph, helping create a new and stronger sense of national identity in our country.

"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", said in a special message.

"As we honour such great bravery and sacrifice, we should honour the courageous men and women of the Canadian Forces, who risk their lives to carry on this proud tradition of service - and keep us all safe". Despite the fact the battle we recognize today happened a century ago, the sacrifices they made were, are and will always be for us.

There were dozens of shouts of "thanks so much" and "thanks from Canada" as they moved towards their official cars.

Trudeau and French President Francois Hollande unveiled a separate "Poppy of Peace" monument on Sunday morning in the town of Arras, a few kilometers from Vimy. "The battle came to define Canada's newly independent place on the world stage".

On Monday, Trudeau will visit World War II sites in the Normandy region.

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