As I reflect on the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, on the bravery, sacrifice and tragic loss of life, my mind naturally turns to events unfolding today on that same continent —just an ocean away.
In 2016, I visited the Vimy memorial atop Hill 145. The solemn tribute stood as a powerful warning of the perils of conflict and reminder of the enduring importance of those most precious human values: freedom and peace.
During that visit, I was accompanied by a group of young Canadians and, today, I’m thinking about them too. They live in a world that is so much more interconnected, where images of conflict and destruction from hours, even seconds ago are easily accessed, coming to us in our most personal and safe spaces.
It’s these young Canadians who are the future of our country and our world. On the Vimy memorial, the names of the 3,600 Canadians —many of them little more than teenagers— who died in the battle are inscribed. They fought in the belief that they were protecting their country, their families, and the free world. 105 years later, let us not forget their names and the price they paid, and let us continue to strive for peace in honour of the sacrifice of that past generation and the generations still to come.
– The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario