Canadians across the country are asked to take a moment today to remember their fellow countrymen who lost their lives at Vimy Ridge.
Today, Friday, April 9 is Vimy Ridge Day where Legion flags will fly at half-mast, in memory of over 10,000 Canadians who lost their lives or were wounded during the 1917 battle.
The initiative to create Vimy Ridge Day was spearheaded by the late Robert Manuel of Elliot Lake, a Korean War veteran.
Manuel was a founding member of the Elliot Lake Legion Branch 561 marching band, director of the Elliot Lake Chamber of Commerce and Regional Director of the Terry Fox Foundation for 10 years.
He assisted in establishing many associations such as the Korean Veterans Association, the Navy League of Elliot Lake, and the Legion marching band.
The annual holiday was created through passage of Bill C-227, introduced by former Algoma-Manitoulin MP Brent St. Denis.
Manuel also initiated the recognition of the Canadian Peacekeepers’ Day in Ontario, which is also a federally recognized day that falls on August 9th.
Manuel died on April 14, 2017, five days after the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.
By law, it is required that the Canadian flag on the Peace Tower of Parliament Hill in Ottawa be lowered to half-mast and small ceremonies, including the laying of wreaths, also normally take place at the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, and other areas across Canada.