Ladies and Gentlemen,
Avec mes fils, nous sommes très fiers de nous joindre à vous pour honorer la mémoire des milliers de valeureux soldats canadiens qui ont servi durant la Première Guerre mondiale, qui se sont battus avec courage ici, sur le sol deVimy, il y a aujourd’hui cent ans. La paix que nous connaissons a été acquise au prix de la vie de ces hommestombés au combat. Pour des générations, ils ont laissé l’exemple remarquable du don soi.
My sons and I are so very proud to join you all here as we honour the memory of the many thousands of brave Canadian soldiers who served in the First World War and who fought so bravely here at Vimy, 100 years ago. Those who fell on this battlefield gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today and set an extraordinary example of selflessness for our future generations.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians crossed the cold, grey Atlantic to take a stand against tyranny and oppression. They left behind everything they knew, to face a struggle they could not have imagined. Today it is hard to believe possible the horrors that unfolded here on 9th April, 1917. This was a battlefield of corpses. The roar of massed artillery filled the air. As one Canadian Brigade Signalling Officer wrote: “imagine the loudest clap of thunder you ever heard, multiplied by two, and prolonged indefinitely.” Boot-deep mud rendered each step a struggle, amidst a deadly, relentless hail of bullets.
The events of that day saw the four divisions of the Canadian Corps serving together for the first time. They fought bravely and with great ingenuity. They succeeded in seizing the vital high ground of Vimy, a task in which many others before them had failed. However, victory came at an unbearably heavy cost. This was, and remains, the single bloodiest day in Canadian military history. Yet Canadians displayed a strength of character and commitment to one another that is still evident today. They did not waver. This was Canada at its best; the Canadians at Vimy embodied the “True North Strong and Free.”
Un siècle plus tard, les Forces armées canadiennes continuent d’incarner le courage et la résilience, véritable legsdu Corps canadien sur la Crête de Vimy. Le spectre des milliers de soldats tombés en ce lieu nous bouleverse encore. Nous honorons ici ceux qui ont si vaillament servi et qui ont tout donné. Leur sacrifice doit nous inspirer à tout faire pour éviter que des pertes insensées ne se reproduisent. Afin de ne pas les oublier, renouvelons notre engagement à nous rappelerleur héroïsme face à la souffrance et à la peur.
One hundred years later, the Canadian Armed Forces continue to embody those virtues of courage and resilience which are the living legacy of the Canadian Corps at Vimy Ridge. The long shadows of the thousands who fell here still touch us today. We honour those who served so gallantly, and who gave so much. Their loss inspires us to do all in our power to prevent such senseless loss from ever happening again. In grateful memory of all of them, we renew our firm commitment to remember their astonishing heroism in the face of untold suffering and fear.
Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen, let us never forget – N’oublions jamais.