On April 9th, 1917, a defining moment for Canada in the First World War was about to be made.

In Northern France, the Battle of Vimy Ridge began, aiming to claim the German-held high ground.

The battle started almost 100 years ago to the day, and Yellowknifers marked the anniversary with a ceremony outside the RCMP G Division Headquarters Friday afternoon.

The mayor, MLAs and members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Legion all stood at attention for a ceremony commemorating the historic event in Canadian history Friday afternoon.

Cpt. Paul McKee addressed those in attendance. He says it is important to mark this anniversary to remember the sacrifices others made.

“It’s important for the youth to remember there were sacrifices made so long ago, and that there were ultimate sacrifices made so long ago,” McKee said.

“It’s important also that some of the current Canadian Forces members remember that theirs is a task that can sometimes cost that ultimate sacrifice that can cost a life.

“I know that some of the people on parade today have seen that happen in real time; their friends, their buddies, and by the grace of God here they are today.”

The battle cost 3,598 Canadian soldiers their lives. The victory is often seen as the defining moment that began Canada’s evolution into an independent nation.

To recognize the 100 year anniversary, the City of Yellowknife has temporarily installed banners at Somba K’e Civic Place.