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Vimy was a turning point

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Apr 2008 9:49    Onderwerp: Vimy was a turning point Reageer met quote

Vimy was a turning point; Veterans gather to remember key First World War battle
Posted By Carol Mulligan

The 91st anniversary of a First World War battle historians say was Canada's coming of age as a nation was remembered in a solemn celebration Sunday.

The annual memorial held by Branch 76 of the Royal Canadian Legion has become almost as well known in Sudbury as the story of how almost 4,000 Canadians lost their lives in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Legion members, some of them veterans from other wars, marched along with cadets in a parade from Tom Davies Square to Church of the Epiphany, where the memorial service was held.

Rev. Tom Corston, pastor at the church and padre for Branch 76, invited about 150 people at the memorial to "pause a few short moments to commemorate the passing of so many lives in the securing of peace."

Bugler Roger Pile sent chills down the spines of those attending as he played Last Post in memory of all those fallen in war.

Comrade Marg Pennell of Branch 76 brought the story of the epic battle at Vimy, France, to life by reading an account of it by military historian Tim Cook.

Cook said Canada's participation at that point in the First World War, when the Allies were losing badly, is considered one of Canada's defining moments.

The battle helped the young nation emerge from the shadow of Great Britain and "feel capable of greatness," read Pennell from Cook's work.

Canadian troops "carefully planned and rehearsed" for weeks before the attack staged April 9-12, 1917.

Cook described the Canadian onslaught as "a stunning success," but said it came "at a terrible cost."

As many as 100,000 Canadian troops were involved in the battle in which 3,598 lives were lost and 10,000 were wounded as they sought to capture the seven-kilometre ridge.

Canadian soldiers eventually captured Hill 155, the highest spot in the battlefield.
n 1922, the French government ceded Vimy Ridge and the lands surrounding it to the Canadian people.

In 1936, the country erected the Vimy Ridge memorial to the more than 60,000 Canadians killed during the first great war.

Although the service paid homage to those killed in war, much of the conversation at Sunday's service was about peace.

In the first reading from Isaiah 2:2-5, Maj. Rob Hobbs of the Second Irish Regiment read: "... they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; national shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

In the second reading, from Matthew 5:1-12, Comrade Mel Pennell read to the congregation: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God."

Those attending prayed for peace and asked for "peace among nations, peace in our homes and peace in our hearts."

A special prayer was said for members of the Canadian Armed Forces: "Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping, all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad."

At the end of the service, Corston urged those attending to "go forth into the world in peace."

One of the most touching parts of the service was the reading of the names of 12 young Canadian men killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

They included Alan McDonald, 18, of Galt, Ontario; Roman Federoff, 18, of Regina, Sask.; Alphee Fournier, 30, of Bonaventure, Que.; and Joseph Peters, 19, of Standing Buffalo Band, Sask.

For more about the Battle of Vimy Ridge, visit www.warmuseum.ca.
Article ID# 964491
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=964491
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Apr 2009 19:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Een heel uitgebreide pagina over Vimy:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/vimy/index.html
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