Taking a moment to remember

Monday, April 9 was Vimy Ridge Day in Canada. It passed without much or any comment, but since it came to our attention (via a calendar), let’s take a moment to reflect.
There’s no need to go too far into the history of the assault that historians say was a turning point in Canadian history. No argument here on that, although the strategic value of gaining the ridge turned out to be insignificant in a war neither side could win and neither could imagine stopping. It took the entry of the U.S. to tip the balance. The result was a peace so humiliating that it led directly to an even worse war 21 years later. But that’s another story.
The story of Vimy Ridge as far as Canada is concerned is that it showed the country could hold its own; it didn’t need to be considered simply a ‘dominion’ of Great Britain. A greater independence grew out of that, the historians say, so it was probably a good thing.
Around 3,600 Canadians lost their lives in the Vimy assault, and another 6,400 were wounded. Previously, the French had lost 100,000 men in futile attempts to take the same piece of real estate. The casualties on the German side are unknown, but they were not small.

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