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Waterloo Region remembers on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Last Updated Apr 9, 2017 at 6:53 pm EDT

Amanda Hewson - 570 News

Crowds of veterans, cadets, dignitaries and the public gathered outside Kitchener City Hall in Carl Zehr Square for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge.

The ceremony walked through history of the battle, which started April 9, 1917, and ended April 12, 1917.

“I think the Vimy 100th memorial was a great way to tie the past to the present with the cadets here today. Showing that service to Canada, service to the community is so important. I think that’s what really speaks to me, is all the volunteers that we have in Waterloo Region and that’s in a lot of cases how we can serve our community today,” says Waterloo Mayor, Dave Jaworsky.

Reflecting on the battle of VImy Ridge is different for everybody, with some being reminded of death and destruction, while others think about how it gave Canada the opportunity to come into it’s own.

“Vimy Ridge is kind of the defining moment for Canada as a nation as far as military tactics go. It was the first time all four divisions fought together, and we kind of did our own thing, and we accomplished things that no other military force could do. So, it kind of set us apart, a lot of people refer to it as the birth of Canadian pride,” explains Tiffany Balork.

Balork’s daughter, Kalika is a lance corporal, and aspires to enlist when she turns 18.

“It’s almost like an emotional kind of thing, knowing that other people have done this for us, to be who we are today. And to think of how, if this didn’t happen, we could still be using pounds as dollars, and being British,” says Kalika Balork.

The ceremony included the laying of wreaths.

On behalf of descendants of the Battle of Vimy Ridge soldiers, Mrs Margaret Schuster.

On behalf of a grateful nation, Mr Harold Albrecht, Mr Raj Saini and Mr Marwan Tabbara.

On behalf of the Region of Waterloo and the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Regional Chair Mr Ken Seiling, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, and Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky.

On behalf of all active service men and women, Members of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada regiment.

On behalf of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada, Deputy Commanding Officer, Major Steven Coe.

On behalf of the members of the NATO forces, Mr Jim McLean and Elvis.

On behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion and all veterans services clubs, Royal Canadian Legion, Fred Gies Branch 50, Mr Alf Ash.

On behalf of the officers, staff, and cadets of 1596 RHFC RCACC, Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Rossario Girimonte.

The large crowds that attended the ceremony were expected and welcomed.

“I think people in this community have all been good at remembering, whether it’s Remembrance Day or other events, and so I was quite pleased to see as many come out, but not surprised,” says Regional Councillor, Ken Seiling.