Trudeau, dignitaries pay homage to fallen Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadians who died at Vimy Ridge 100 years ago today helped shape Canada into a nation committed to peace.

The prime minister delivered the address at the commemorative ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

French President Francois Hollande, members of the Royal Family and Gov. Gen. David Johnston were among the dignitaries at the ceremony in northern France.

Vimy was the most successful part of the Battle of Arras in April 1917, as the Canadians pushed up and captured the strategically important ridge from the Germans.

As many as 25,000 people have come to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, where hundreds of empty black combat boots have been laid in rows on top of and all around the monument, representing those who died.

Many people in the crowd used umbrellas to guard against the hot sun, different from 100 years ago when soldiers here faced rain and sleet in battle.