( swiped from a better writer) Today is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This battle was actually a part of the much larger Battle of Arras in Northern France and its importance to Canadians is so important that it is considered critical to our history. It was the first time that the Canadian Army fought as an independent Corps and is considered as the real start of Canada as a nation rather than as a political union. Without going into all the details, the French army had suffered 150,000 casualties over the years in trying to take this piece of high ground. The Canadian Corps took the ridge in four days using very careful planning and changed tactics including fire and movement, creeping artillery barrages, lots of artillery and air support, the setting of particular objectives down to the platoon level and rehearsals. Canadian casualties in the battle were about 10,600 of whom almost 3,600 were killed. German casualties are unknown but the Canadians took 4,000 prisoners. To put his in context, there were about 60,000 Canadians killed in WWI out of a population of 7 million; about the same number of casualties as the USA with ten times the population. These are truly horrific figures and the effect of the loss of these fine young men affected the country for generations after. This battle has gone into myth although in fact the Canadian Corps actually achieved far greater victories in the last few months of the war when its four reinforced divisions beat up more than 40 German Divisions After the war, the Canadian government erected a huge and stunning memorial on the Vimy site and about ten years ago, they spent $30 million restoring it. The monument was dedicated in 1936 with over 50,000 people present including then King Edward VIII. See article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadi..._Vimy_Memorial Oddly, Hitler liked the memorial and ensured that it was not damaged during WWII As I write this there are an estimated 30,000 Canadians gathering at the site to mark the anniversary.