One hundred years ago, on April 9th, 1917, the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) stormed Vimy Ridge. Over 100,000 Canadians from coast to coast and all segments of society took part in the 3 day long battle that would leave a lasting imprint on our history.
The storming of Vimy was a truly Canadian endeavour, planned and executed entirely by Canadians. It was an operation to demonstrate that the Dominion of Canada was a full-fledged member of the Allied forces. We pulled our weight on that day, and earned Canadians a long-standing reputation as courageous warriors and reliable friends.
Many members of the CEF came from the counties of Victoria and Haliburton, Brock – and from my village of Kinmount. My grandfather, Wallace Scott, was one of them. He was among the proud Canadian soldiers who went over the top at Vimy on April 9th and was severely wounded. Like many other wounded soldiers, he recovered and returned to service, fighting right up until the end of the War.
Vimy Ridge turned out to be a major turning point in Canadian history. It ignited a new-found sense of national pride. Soldiers from all over our vast country pulled together, put aside their regional differences and put duty to their country first, and the CEF earned a reputation as “Shock Troops;” the finest units in the entire Allied Army.
This was recognized even by enemy forces. As the war officially came to an end, on November 11th, 1918, an enemy machine gunner fired off all of his remaining ammunition into the air, mounted the top of his dugout, took off his helmet and bowed deeply in the direction of his Canadian opponents. By way of this gesture, he honoured the Canadians as a worthy opponent. He then turned and walked away towards his home in Germany.
On April 9th, let us all salute the soldiers who served Canada at Vimy Ridge, and beyond, and mark this important moment in our country’s history. Lest we forget.
If you have any questions or would like to follow up, please do not hesitate to contact MPP Scott’s constituency office in Lindsay, at 705-324-6654 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Laurie Scott MPP
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