The battle for Vimy Ridge took place on April 9th-12th 1917. It was there where all four Canadian divisions fought as one and took the ridge that both the French and British troops had failed to take in the months and years previous. The Canadian’s used advanced tactics, huge amounts of artillery and months and months of planning in order to obtain the objective that many thought was impossible. Even so the Canadians lost 3,598 soldiers killed and over 7000 wounded.
The Vimy Ridge monument sits in North-East France just outside the city of Arras. The memorial sits on the ridge surrounded by forest and fields that still bear the scars of the battle a century later.
The soldiers who are memorialized here are lucky. Like so many battles of the war the gains were both bloody and seemingly insignificant in the micro perspective, but unlike so many other battles that we have forgotten, Vimy will remain in the collective consciousness for years to come. War is glorified to young men, making them believe in the idea of noble sacrifice. The idea that their sacrifice, hardships and loss will be remembered forever. Very rarely does that come true after the war is over. Vimy Ridge is a true exception. It is a stoic reminder of death, war and the destructive nature of man.