To commemorate the Canadian victory over German forces 98 years ago at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, local Cadets held a parade at the Cenotaph outside the Fort St. John Legion on Thursday.
The parade, made up of Cadet pipers, drummers and infantry, sang the Canadian anthem and read aloud the history of the battle.
“This is the first time that all four Canadian divisions fought together as a purely Canadian unit,” explained Captain Ken Lane, Commanding Officer of 2276 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.
The World War I battle took place April 9 to 12, 1917.
The Canadian effort at Vimy not only took a German position that both the British and French forces had been unsuccessful in taking before them, it also demonstrated the Canadian military’s tactical innovation and resulted in recognition that the Canadians were a force to be reckoned with.
Over 150,000 French and British lives were lost assaulting the position. The Canadians’ eventual victory came at a cost of over 10,000 men.
Remembering those who lost their lives is an important aspect of the Vimy parade, said Lane.
“It’s important to remember so we can do our best to ensure that it never happens again,” he said. “In remembrance, we hope that there’s also avoidance of the things that lead up to these situations.”
With the 100 year anniversary of the battle approaching, the Cadets are hoping to raise enough money to send some of their own to the site of the battle in northern France. To that end, they’re raffling off a Harley-Davidson Street Glide motorcycle, with tickets available at the Legion, Ford Motors and the Hair Bin.