Sunday, April 9, 2017

Queen: Vimy Ridge

From Queen Elizabeth II's Website:
"A Message From The Queen On The 100th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Vimy Ridge"

Today, as people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean gather to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, there will be difficult memories of loss and of suffering, but also memories of many heroic acts of bravery and of sacrifice on the part of those who served. On this day a century ago, thousands of Canadian soldiers stood far from home together with their allies in defence of peace and freedom. They fought courageously and with great ingenuity in winning the strategic high point of Vimy Ridge, though victory came at a heavy cost with more than 10,000 fallen and wounded. I am pleased that my son The Prince of Wales, and my grandsons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, are attending the commemorations today. As Colonel-in-Chief; Captain General and Air Commodore-in-Chief of Canadian Armed Forces units, I have often borne witness to the professionalism and dedication, as well as the sense of equality, of respect, of perseverance, of sacrifice and of hope that infuses our military. It is our duty to remember and honour those who served so valiantly and who gave so much here at Vimy Ridge and throughout the First World War.

"A Message From The Queen On The 100th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Vimy Ridge (French)"

Aujourd’hui, alors que nous soulignons le 100e anniversaire de Ia bataille de Ia crête de Vimy des deux côtés de l’océan Atlantique, de pénibles souvenirs de pertes et de souffrances feront surface, accompagnés de souvenirs d’actes héroïques de bravoure et de sacrifice de Ia part de ceux qui ont servi. À pareille date, ii y a un siècle, loin de chez eux, des milliers de soldats canadiens ont fait front commun avec leurs alliés pour défendre Ia paix et la liberté. Ils ont lutté courageusement, avec ingéniosité, s’emparant du sommet stratégique de la crête de Vimy, dans une bataille chèrement payée qui a fait 10,000 morts et blesses. Je suis fière de savoir que mon fils le prince de Galles, et mes petits-fils le duc de Cambridge et prince Harry, assistent aux évènernents commémoratifs organisés aujourd’hui. En tant que colonel en chef, capitaine général et commodore de l’air en chef des unités des Forces armées canadiennes, j’ai souvent constaté le professionnalisme et le dévouernent qui anirnent nos militaires, de même que leur sens de l’égalité, du respect, de la persévérance, du sacrifice et de l’espofr. Nous avons le devoir de nous souvenir et d’honorer Ia mémoire de ceux qui ont servi vaillamment et qui ont tant donné ici, sur la crete de Vimy, et tout au long de la Premiere Guerre mondiale.

^ The Queen doesn't usually give that many speeches anymore on these types of occasions so I was surprised to find she did for Vimy Ridge (although they could have translated the title into French rather than keeping the English version and simply adding "(French)" at the end - and didn't even write that en français.) I know she speaks French fluently and hope she corrects her staff on their mistake.  Her speech does show the importance the Canadians had in World War 1 that helped lead them to gaining more self-identity both at home and internationally. ^

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