- Title: Canada prepares for major WW1 centenary commemorations at Vimy Ridge
- Date: 7th April 2017
- Summary: VIMY, FRANCE (APRIL 6, 2017) (REUTERS) CANADIAN NATIONAL VIMY MEMORIAL INCLUDING STATUE OF MOURNING WOMAN STATUE OF MOURNING WOMAN WITH VIEW OVER REGION LISTS OF NAMES OF THE DEAD ON MONUMENT FACADE PLAQUE ON THE GROUND READING (French and English): "We will remember them" LISTS OF NAMES OF THE DEAD ON MONUMENT (SOUNDBITE) (English) VETERAN'S AFFAIRS CANADA REPRESENTATIVE, ZOLTAN CSEPREGI, SAYING: "We're expecting about 25,000 people and members of the public. We have about 17,000 Canadians that have registered for this event, including about 10,000 youths, so it'll be quite the event with that many people here." MOTOR VEHICLE IN MOTION, MAN HANGING ON BACK VARIOUS OF WORKERS ADJUSTING LARGE SCREEN SPEAKERS ROAD AND ROAD SIGN READING "Vimy" VARIOUS OF CANADIAN, AS WELL AS FRENCH AND BRITISH FLAGS AS BUNTING IN VIMY ROADS (SOUNDBITE) (French) 45-YEAR-OLD VIMY RESIDENT, GILLES BELACEL, SAYING: "It's very good, because we must think of those who fought for us and defended our homeland." VARIOUS OF HOUSE FLYING LARGE CANADIAN, FRENCH AND BRITISH FLAGS AND CANADIAN FLAG BUNTING (SOUNDBITE) (French) VIMY RESIDENT, ANNE CAUDRELIER, SAYING: "It's wonderful, and we are happy that the Canadians saved us, and that, equally, the British came, the Americans, and to us, it's wonderful. And personally, I heard my father talk about them, may he rest in peace, he isn't here anymore, and we always went to the Canadian monument to go on little walks, little picnics..." VARIOUS OF CANADIAN CEMETERY NUMBER 2, WHITE GRAVESTONES CANADIAN AND FRENCH FLAGS ON LARGE FLAGPOLES CANADIAN FLAG WAVING IN THE WIND
- Embargoed: 21st April 2017 12:38
- Keywords: Vimy France Canada WWI First World War World War memorial ceremony Trudeau Prince Duke of Cambridge Empire battle Arras
- Location: UNKNOWN LOCATION AND VIMY, FRANCE
- City: UNKNOWN LOCATION AND VIMY, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0066BEHQVB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Canada is preparing major commemorations to mark the centenary of World War One's Battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France this Sunday (April 9).
On that day, then Easter Monday in 1917, more than 3,000 Canadian soldiers, many of them not even 20 years old, lost their lives in a hard-fought battle as part of the former British Empire against the German forces in which they successfully captured the ridge.
The ceremony is expected to be attended by 25,000 people, according to Veteran's Affairs Canada representative Zoltan Csepregi, who comes from Ottawa, Ontario. Around 17,000 Canadians have registered for the event, many of whom have arrived in France in recent days.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the country's Governor-General David Johnston, and French President Francois Hollande as well as the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry are all due to attend.
The white memorial at the heart of the former battlefield rises high, and is adorned with towering statues said to represent Mother Canada mourning the loss of her children.
The surrounding landscape is ridden with craters, alongside preserved trenches and multiple cemeteries, all now acting as surviving proof of the battle that took place there. The ridge provides sweeping views over the region, highlighting its strategic significance.
Some 300 media organisations have been accredited for Sunday's event, which has been in the planning since December.
The Battle has gained national prominence in Canadian history for being the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces fought together.
Towns and villages surrounding Vimy have been adorned with the flags of France, Canada and Britain, as locals honour those who gave their lives one hundred years ago.
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