Is Vimy Ridge Day In Canada A Public Holiday?
Vimy Ridge Day in Canada is not a public holiday, but merely an observance as per Holiday 2020. It falls on 9 April each year, and businesses, schools, retail stores, etc. follow their usual schedule for the day. Another name for the commemoration is the National Day of Remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Vimy Ridge Day Holiday History In Canada
The history of Vimy Ridge Day in Canada is linked with the Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought during World War I, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. Four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought against three divisions of the German 6th Army. The Canadian soldiers had to capture the German-held area of Vimy Ridge, as this would safeguard the First and Third Armies from enemies’ enfilade fire. The fighting continued for three days, from 9-12 April 1917.
The Canadian Corps conquered most of the Ridge on the first day of the attack, that is the day chosen to commemorate its anniversary as well as honour the fallen. Even though the Canadians won this battle, the victory came with a high cost. Of the 11,000 Canadian casualties, almost 3,600 lost their lives. This day is dedicated to honouring and remembering these heroes who gave their lives to help pave the path to a peaceful world.
Public Life on Vimy Ridge Day in Canada
Robert Manuel, a Korean War veteran, was responsible for the commemoration of Vimy Ridge Day in Canada. A Bill C-227 was introduced, and it states that the Canadian flag has to be lowered to half-mast on the Peace Tower of Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The public life on Vimy Ridge Day in Canada includes a variety of small ceremonies, including the laying of wreaths at the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa. The same custom is followed at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France and other areas across Canada.
Museums, such as the Canadian War Museum, hold special activities that commemorate the battle of Vimy Ridge on or around 9 April each year. Some of these events include historical story-telling about the battle of Vimy Ridge, as well as costumed artists, pantomimes, etc. dressed in First World War uniforms explaining soldiers’ equipment.
Many schools hold classroom lessons about these historical events of World War I, including the battle of Vimy Ridge and how Canadians played a role in the war. The Canadian government’s Canada Remembers Program provides the general public, including educators and students, with information about the battle of Vimy Ridge. Some people also wear Vimy pins to commemorate Vimy Ridge Day in Canada, which is available from the Vimy Foundation.
Vimy Ridge Day Observances
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1. Why is the Battle of Vimy Ridge so crucial to Canada?
The victory at Vimy Ridge helped turn the tides against Germany in WWI, as well as paved the way for Canadian independence.
2. What did Canada gain from Vimy Ridge?
Vimy Ridge Day in Canada celebrates honours the battle of WWI which captured more ground, prisoners, and guns than any past British offensive in two-and-a-half years of war.
3. How was Vimy Ridge a turning point in WW1?
Vimy Ridge was a crucial stretch of land in France, near Arras. It was a clear vantage point for whoever controlled it. The height of the Ridge allowed the Germans to see coming attacks easily making the job of the Allies harder.
Tl;dr For those who only wish to know When is Vimy Ridge Day in 2020? The date is 9 April, Thursday.
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