While ceremonies were taking place in France and around the country to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, here in Regina, many were also paying their respects on Sunday.
More than a hundred people gathered around the cenotaph at Regina’s Victoria Park to mark the day.
Among the crowd was Nelson Bird, who went to honour all his loved ones who fought for freedom — especially his father, who fought at Juno Beach in World War II, and his grandfather, David Bird, who was in battle at Vimy Ridge.
“As First Nations people, they weren’t obligated or forced to (go to war), but they did it out of love for their country and love for their land,” explained Bird. “I carry on the tradition — even though they’re all gone now — in my role as a citizen of Canada.”
He said, if his grandfather could see how the 100th anniversary was commemorated, he would be honoured.
“As far back as I can remember, we’d have to go to the Remembrance Day services, and everything we’d do would have a military tinge to it,” said Bird. “I think they’d be very happy that I’m here and that everybody else still comes out to honour them.”
In addition to the ceremony in Victoria Park, the Royal Canadian Legion hosted a series of events, including a re-dedication at the Royal Canadian Legion Library and Museum on Cornwall Street.
The provincial government also hosted an outdoor commemorative ceremony at the legislative building to pay homage to the more than 97,000 Canadian troops who played a role in capturing Vimy Ridge in 1917.