Local ceremonies held to mark historic Vimy battle

As thousands have turned out in a heartfelt display of thanks to Canada and the Canadian soldiers who fought and died at Vimy Ridge exactly a century ago, local ceremonies were held as well.

At Woodland Cemetery, a sunrise service was held at the Veterans Section of the Cemetery.

People started arriving at 5:30 a.m. and more than 300 were on hand for the service start at 7 a.m., said Woodland manager Paul Culliton.

"I feel the need to (have a ceremony)," he said. "Given the number of soldiers buried at Woodland who were at Vimy and those memorialized on stones."

The Vimy attack began at 5:30 am. By 6:25 am., the 1st, 2nd. & 3rd. Canadian Divisions reported capturing their first objectives. By sunrise, at 7 a.m., parts of the 2nd. objective were completed.

For many it would be their last sunrise.  By the end of battle, 3,598 were dead and  7,004 wounded.

At Woodland,  a maple leaf tree was dedicated  to mark the 100th anniversary.

A tribute from the air was also held in London as Waterloo Warbirds did a formation flyover of Vimy Ridge Park, for another ceremony.

And at Remembrance Gardens, the Remember November 11 Association dedicated a new Memorial Stone to mark the sacrifices made in the historic battle.