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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
April 11, 2008

Battle of Vimy Ridge Memorial

Mr. Speaker, every spring in my constituency, there is a solemn but very important ceremony held at Vimy Ridge Memorial Park, and the most recent honouring of that historic battle took place just this past weekend. I was honoured to attend and be joined by my colleague the MLA for St. James (Ms. Korzeniowski), also Pat Martin, member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, and Harvey Smith, councillor for Daniel McIntyre, along with many representatives, both those on current duty with the military forces of Canada, their families, their friends, their neighbours, and those who have retired from the service.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, of course, was a horrific struggle. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost, and, at the end of the day, it was, in fact, the Canadian troops working for the first time together, all of the different military units of the Canadian Forces at the time, for the first time came together to take the ridge and to secure victory at a very important moment in the First World War.

The monument which was established at Vimy Ridge overseas was then brought back to Canada and not just to Canada but to Winnipeg, right into the heart of our city in Vimy Ridge Memorial Park. The park itself has received considerable attention from our government through the Building Communities Initiative.

It was a wonderful setting, as it always is, for this bittersweet and yet very important memorial. I want to thank all of the veterans who were there, all the dignitaries who attended and the staff at Veterans Affairs Canada for making it possible for us to honour the 91st memorial of that very important struggle.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.