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Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 2:30 a.m., April 11)
Royal Galipeau marks 95th anniversary of Vimy Ridge with local cadets

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ottawa-Orléans MP Royal Galipeau marked the 95th anniversary of the Batlle of Vimy Ridge on Monday with more than 100 Army Cadets from across Ottawa.

The Cadets took turns standing vigil over the National War Memorial from
6 p.m. on Sunday until the wreath laying ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday.

Captain Arleen Miller explained that the Cadets had been learning about the battle during the week leading up to the vigil.

"They're very proud to be here," said Miller. "It's an opportunity of a lifetime for many of them, you know, it is a national ceremony so to be part of that is huge for them."

The Cadets kicked off the vigil with a candlelight ceremony attended by Galipeau.

"This week we remember an incredible generation of Canadians who, 95 years ago, captured Vimy Ridge and helped define Canada as a nation," said Galipeau. "We also remember all those who served in the First World War, including the more than 66,000 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in securing our peace, freedom and democracy."

John Babcock was the last remaining survivor of the First World War. He passed away in February, 2010 at the age of 109.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge commenced on Easter Monday, April 9,1917, and lasted four days. Allied troops tried to take the ridge several times before the Canadian Corps was called upon to make one last attempt.

Supported by a creeping barrage, four divisions of Canadian soldiers charged up the ridge early Monday morning. By the end of the first day they had captured most of the ridge. On the second day they captured the French town of Thelus along with the crest of the ridge.

By the end of the fourth day they captured a fortified knoll outside the town of Givenchy-en-Gohelle, forcing the Germans to withdraw from the battle.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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