Ceremonies to mark 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge

Millions of Canadians are expected to pause Sunday to remember those lost during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the bloody First World War campaign exactly 100 years ago that has become the symbol of a birth of a nation.

Legions of people are expected to stand with Prime Minister Trudeau and other dignitaries in France, including Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry, at what will be a sombre ceremony.

Millions more will listen to broadcasts of the two-hour ceremony.

The word Vimy conjures up images of blood and death, of men caught in barbed wire being mowed down by machine-gun fire, and of the senselessness of war.

Some 10,000 Canadians were killed or wounded during the four-day battle for the ridge.

But for many Canadians Vimy also sparks a fierce sense of nationalism, because it's the moment, they say, when Canada was born – or at least came of age as a country.

Locally, a special ceremony will take place at the provincial cenotaph in Fredericton at 2 p.m.

The province will also hold a public commemoration and unveiling at 3 p.m. on the grounds of Government House in Fredericton, where some Vimy-related effects will be on display inside.

With files from The Canadian Press