The following statement was released in honour of the centennial of Vimy Ridge:
“In the early morning hours of April 9, 1917, after meticulous planning, Canadian soldiers stormed Vimy Ridge. For the first time, all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together, under the command of a Canadian.
“The objective was to capture strategically important high ground, and they succeeded more than they knew. The battle came to define Canada’s newly independent place on the world stage.
“That proud moment came at a terrible cost. More than 10,000 soldiers were killed and wounded in conditions we can scarcely imagine today. British Columbia, which had the highest per-capita enlistment in the young nation, eventually lost more than 6,200 throughout the war – every single one a beloved father, son, brother, or friend.
“To help honour their legacy, the Province is contributing $350,000 to the Vimy Foundation to support the creation of a Centennial Park at the site of the battle, including the planting of 100 Vimy Oak trees. These trees are direct descendants of acorns collected following the battle, and they will be planted in a circular pattern four deep to represent the four divisions.
“As we honour such great bravery and sacrifice, we should honour the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces, who risk their lives to carry on this proud tradition of service – and keep us all safe.
“We will never forget.”
Stephen SmartPress Secretary
Office of the Premier