The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917, by Richard Jack.
Copyright Canadian War Museum (CN 8178).

The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917, by Richard Jack.

Canada's victory at Vimy Ridge took on enormous symbolic importance, not only for the military, but also for the nation at large. The event may even have played a direct role in Canada's constitutional evolution by providing the cause of greater independence additional moral authority. Some seven days after the battle, Sir Robert Borden pushed through a resolution at the Imperial War Conference declaring Canada and the other dominions "autonomous nations of an Imperial Commonwealth."

The Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 changed the face of Canada forever. Perhaps more than any other battle or any other incident in the history of Canada, the extraordinary accomplishment of our soldiers at Vimy Ridge made Canadian soldiers, civilians, and politicians regard themselves as unique, citizens of a nation separate and distinct from the mother country. More than one staunch imperialist would eventually claim: "I became a Canadian at Vimy Ridge."

The United States had finally entered the war in 1917. The German army was determined to achieve victory before the American troops could reach the battlefront in any appreciable numbers. Vimy Ridge was a strategically important German stronghold.

In taking Vimy Ridge, Canadian soldiers, at enormous cost in life nd limb, succeeded where British and French armies had failed. In fact, Vimy Ridge was the first British victory of the war. The sacrifice of the Canadian soldiers inspired a nation to be more than it had been before.

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