Unveiling of Canada's National Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France, 26 July 1936.
National Archives of Canada (PA-183541).

Unveiling of Canada's National Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France, 26 July 1936.

King Edward VIII, accompanied by Prince Arthur of Connaught, Ernest Lapointe, Ian MacKenzie, C.G. Power, and party, inspects the Guard of Honour.

The First World War is perhaps the single most important event in Canada's history. If Vimy Ridge gave Canadians a sense of pride in their own nation, the sacrifices of all Canadians who fought in the war earned Canada the respect of the world. By the end of the war, Britain and other countries acknowledged that Canada was an independent nation. Canada could speak for itself -- and it did in the peace negotiations and then the newly-established League of Nations. Canada would never look back; it was now a nation first and a member of the British Empire second.

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