The City of Langley paid tribute Friday morning to a defining moment in Canadian history.
Langley City Council along with Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag joined local veterans at a sign unveiling and planting ceremony next to the Douglas Park Cenotaph.
The ceremony honoured the Battle of Vimy Ridge that took place from April 9 t0 12, 1917. The battle, and victory, at Vimy Ridge in northern France, a heavily-fortified seven-kilometre ridge that held a commanding view over the Allied lines came at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded.
“Beneath this cloth is one of four new street signs that will be proudly displayed at two prominent intersections in the area,” City mayor Ted Schaffer said during the ceremony. “These signs will serve as reminders every day of the significance of our veterans to our community.
By the end of today, you will see two of these signs here at this intersection and another two at 204 Street and Park Avenue.”
The ceremony also included the planting of a Vimy Sapling in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The sapling is a gift from Aldag.
“We were honoured to accept this kind gesture and that is one of the reasons we have come together today,” Schaffer said.
Aldag said the Battle of Vimy Ridge ushered Canada into an age unto itself.
“It’s really important for us to be able to remember and honour those who serve,” Aldag said. “We had many veterans who come from the Langleys so I wanted to make sure we had some sort of reminder of the contributions of Langley (veterans) to the world war, and to honour our veterans.”
Among those attending the ceremony was Norma Carruthers, a longtime City resident whose father fought at Vimy Ridge.
“Mrs. Carruthers shared that her father had fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and how it had impacted his life, and therefore the lives of the entire family,” Schaffer said.
Also there from the Langley Legion were 1st vice-president Joe Anderson, 2nd vice-president Shirley Blair, and manager/secretary Heather Eriksen, and Chilliwack Legion member Larry Wilcox.