Mr. Speaker, 91 years ago, on April 9, 1917, at Vimy Ridge, France, 100,000 soldiers from all over Canada fought shoulder to shoulder for the first time in international battle under the Canadian flag and under a Canadian commander.
Canadians representing all of Canada's regions fought together and won together. This victory has become known as the day when Canada truly became a nation and it earned for Canada a signature on the Treaty of Versailles.
The victory at Vimy Ridge is historic for both its significance and the losses our armed forces incurred. Some 4,000 Canadians gave their lives during this battle. They never saw the result of their sacrifice.
However, this important victory proved to our allies that Canadian soldiers were prepared to fight our common enemies. This enabled our country to take a strong position in the group of nations.
As of 2003, April 9 became an official military heritage day in Canada after the enactment of Bill C-227.
I ask all my colleagues to join me in commemoration of the bravery and courage of those who won at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.