Lest we forget

By its very name, Remembrance Day, we give honour to those who have served our nation.

Close to 120,000 Canadians have died defending our country since the First World War.

What sorrow it brings to think of those young people who never had the opportunity to savour life or to share in the abundance that their sacrifice has allowed us to enjoy.

We honour those who died, we honour those who were injured, and we honour those who served in the many different ways necessary to prevail in combat.

This year marks significant anniversaries in Canada’s military heritage.

Such anniversaries are commemorated to ensure the sacrifices and achievements of those who served are recognized today by those who enjoy the personal freedoms they ensured.

Vimy Ridge

One of Canada’s most celebrated military victories occurred 90 years ago this year. The Battle of Vimy Ridge took place April 9-12, 1917.

It saw all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fighting together for the first time to capture the heavily-fortified Vimy Ridge in northern France. Many have seen this great triumph as “Canada’s coming of age” as a country.


The Battle of Passchendaele also took place in 1917. That rainy autumn, Canadians were in the Ypres area of Belgium, fighting their way across a blasted landscape.

Roughly 16,000 Canadians were killed, wounded, or went missing in the fighting, but the Canadians did not give up and took the ruined town of Passchendaele in November.


A significant Second World War milestone is the 65th anniversary of the Raid on Dieppe.

On the morning of Aug. 19, 1942, roughly 5,000 Canadians and 1,000 other Allied troops came ashore in German-occupied Europe at the French port of Dieppe.

The raid took a heavy toll—913 Canadians were killed and 1,946 were taken prisoner.

This Remembrance Day, take a quiet moment to honour these great heroes of freedom and to pledge that we shall always remember their sacrifices on our behalf.