STATEMENT FROM PREMIER BRIAN PALLISTER TO MARK 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE AT VIMY RIDGE
Today we mark the 100th anniversary of a battle that occurred during one of the bloodiest wars in the history of the world – a battle that turned the world’s attention to Canada. It occurred on the blood-soaked escarpment of Vimy Ridge in France where soldiers from every corner of our nation, and many from our province, accomplished what other nations could not. They defeated the enemy, turned the tide in the war and paved the way for victory.
Our victory at Vimy is regarded by many as the moment when Canada stood on its own; as the moment when Canada became a nation. However, it came at such a high cost. More than 10,000 Canadian soldiers were killed or wounded in that battle including many Manitobans. On a per capita basis, no other province suffered a greater loss in the Great War than Manitoba. That is no doubt related to the fact that a higher proportion of Manitobans volunteered for service than from any other province.
On Nov. 11 of each year, we hear the phrase “Lest We Forget”. I can say without hesitation that Manitobans have never forgotten, and we will never forget, the sacrifice made by our brave men and women in uniform. Despite the fact the battle we recognize today happened a century ago, the sacrifices they made were, are and will always be for us.