Canadian troops head to the rear after the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917. - Image: George Metcalf Archival Collection/Canadian War Museum

Editorial: Saluting our soldiers across the nation

We salute our soldiers and their families around the country on this sad anniversary of Vimy Ridge

It seems strange in this day and age of ongoing war, global uncertainty and instability, to be reminiscing about a World War I battle that claimed the lives of some 3,500 Canadians.

But the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge is a good reminder that while most in our country remain steadfastly opposed to war, too often we forget that war is not just a fight between nations to be watched on cable news.

There are real people on the ground every day, sacrificing their lives for the good of country. People who were, and are, willing to put their lives on the line for the greater good.

EXTRA: Pride in Canada born at Vimy Ridge

EXTRA: Vimy Ridge focus of tributes

For those of us lucky enough to be far-removed from battle-fields around the world, how can we comprehend what it was like to fight to the death for a cause greater than your own life? It just doesn’t seem like it is even a remote possibility, especially here in Canada.

And how many of us today would sacrifice ourselves and the material things that we have?

Thankfully we don’t have to answer that question and we are not sending our young people off to battle in this country. But back in World War I it was a different story as Canadians joined with their allies to fight against the German powerhouse.

Those involved had harrowing tales to tell, but not surprisingly, upon their return to Canada, there were terrible personal tolls to pay and they didn’t want to talk about it. Some, like Kelowna’s Victor DeHart, couldn’t deal with the anniversary as it came around each year.

They say our country was built on the battle of Vimy Ridge as Canadian soliders did what no one else could do before them. According to legend, the Canadians entered the war as a dominion of Britain, but left as a country of its own.

That seems to glorify what was a massively bloody battle and left so many dead. But from that battle—called the first victory for Canada’s army—spawned a nation that became peacekeepers with our troops dedicated to helping other nations around the world.

Historians say it was careful planning and determination that allowed them to take the ridge. And we believe that. For if Canadians are anything they are a determined lot and willing to help others above themselves.

We remain opposed to war, however we salute our soldiers and their families around the country on this sad anniversary.

Let’s hope we never have to do anything like it again.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Calvary Chapel Kelowna

Attendees of the Sept. 13 morning church service may have been exposed, Interior Health says

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Regional district funding phased out for Friends of Fintry

Heritage site volunteer group loses $39,000 grant incrementally over next two years

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Public input sharpens vision of Oyama Ithmus Park

Proposed project to shape the long-term future of waterfront land in Lake Country

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

PHOTOS: Ghost sighting in Vernon’s Polson Park

Mom and daughter photoshoot brings joy and laughter to bystanders

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Most Read