Hundreds filled Veterans Square in downtown Cloverdale on Sunday morning to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
On April 9, 1917, the four Canadian army divisions fought as a unified force for the first time, accomplishing what was thought impossible by the British and French forces – they captured the heavily fortified Vimy Ridge, 175 km north of Paris, France.
The battle would last four days, and more than 10,600 Canadian soldiers would be wounded or killed. Thousands more went missing and were presumed dead.
On April 9, 2017, the community came together to remember the sacrifice of those that fought at Vimy Ridge.
Hundreds of cadets, RCMP officers and Royal Canadian Legion members filled the square, including participants from the Army Cadet League of Canada, Army Cadet League of B.C., the Army, Air and Sea Cadets of the Fraser Valley, Royal Canadian Legion, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regimental Association, RCMP, RCMP Pipe Band, Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band, Firefighters and Surrey Pre-trial Services.
Cadet Sgt. Diego Martinez of the 2277 Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, RCACC Langley, spoke of his recent visit to Europe with his brother and fellow cadet, Sgt. Nico Martinez. Martinez shared the story of visiting the Vimy Memorial in France not long ago, on a trip with classmates from Clayton Heights Secondary.
Honoured guests included Melvin Anderson, a Korean War veteran; Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag; MLA Rich Coleman; City of Surrey Councillor Dave Woods; City of Langley Councillors Jack Arnold, Rudy Storteboom, and Nathan Pachal; and Township of Langley Councillors Petrina Arason and Blair Whitemarch.
After the service came to a close, the parade marched to the Cloverdale Legion, where the cadets were served a lunch and community members were able to view a display of First World War items, which included barbed wire and a German helmet retrieved from the battle.