On April 7 at 6 p.m. the Okotoks Royal Canadian Legion #291 is conducting a parade in commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The parade will travel north along Veterans Way, starting near the railway tracks and travelling to the Cenotaph at Elma Street.
There will be a ceremony at the Cenotaph before the parade travels back south along Veterans Way.
Canadian troops stormed Vimy Ridge at 5:30 a.m. on April 9, 1917. They were attacking over an open graveyard since previous French attacks had failed to take the ridge from the Germans resulting in over 100,000 casualties.
The heavily fortified ridge provided the Germans with a commanding view over the Allied forces.
This would be the first time that the four Canadian divisions had attacked together. Men from all regions of Canada fought side by side when they stormed Vimy Ridge.
The highest and most important part of the ridge was captured in a front bayonet charge against machine gun positions.
Three more days of catastrophic battle delivered final victory. It was victory at a terrible cost as 3,598 Canadians were killed and 7,000 wounded.
Canada’s military achievements during the war raised our international stature and helped earn us a separate signature on the Treaty of Versailles that formally ended the war. The capture of Vimy Ridge was more than a battlefield victory in WWI. Brigadier-General A.E. Ross stated after the war, “In those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation.”