Ottawa, Ontario - April 9, 2016

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Vimy Ridge Day:

“The Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War was a moment that defined our nation.

“It was the first time that soldiers from all four Canadian divisions—representing every region of our country—fought side-by-side on the same battlefield. As Brigadier-General Alexander Ross later said of Canada’s accomplishments at Vimy, ‘I witnessed the birth of a nation’.

“The capture of Vimy Ridge was one of the Great War’s most remarkable military victories, but it came at great cost. Nearly 3,600 Canadians lost their lives and over 7,000 more were wounded.

“As we mark the anniversary of this historic battle, we are reminded of our obligation—to the fallen, to our Veterans, and to their families—that we must meet with respect and gratitude. Our men and women in uniform have dedicated their lives to the defence of our country, and they deserve our unwavering support.

“On this day, let us thank those who have sacrificed—and those who continue to sacrifice—on behalf of our country so that we can enjoy the peace and freedoms we have today.”