The 4th Canadian Division in France, September 1918
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Canada joined Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth Nations in sending our men and women overseas, and unfortunately 66,000 of them lost their lives.
In part, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement -
"Today, Canadians join the international community in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which engulfed Europe in conflict from 1914 to 1918 and killed at least ten million combatants and millions more civilians.
“It is a time to remember and honour the sacrifices and tremendous achievements of the more than 650,000 brave Canadians and Newfoundlanders who left their families and the comfort of their homes to serve their King and country, as well as to preserve the universal values of freedom, peace and democracy that we hold most dear.
“It is a time to remember the more than 66,000 of our selfless men and women who gave their lives during the First World War, and the estimated 172,000 more who were wounded.
“It is a source of deep national pride that the bravery and courage of our service members helped ensure Allied victories in important battles at places like Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Amiens. These efforts played a vital role in finally bringing about the negotiation and conclusion of the Armistice, which ended the First World War at precisely 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918.
“The dedication, courage and determination demonstrated by our brave soldiers, sailors and airmen, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded allies to fight for what they believed in, resulted in Canada emerging as a proud, victorious nation with new found standing in the world".