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Barrie will play major role in 100th anniversary of Battle of Vimy Ridge

Barrie and Arras have a growing relationship based on sacrifice of Canadian veterans in defense of freedom during WWI
VImy Ridge1
The trenches on battlefield of Vimy ridge France



Mayor Jeff Lehman and a group of Barrie residents will be in France next week for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The group is donating a life-size bronze statue of a World War One soldier to the Vimy Foundation, which will stand at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

A delegation from Barrie, including Hon. Cols. Massie, Peacock, and Williams, CFB Borden Commander Colonel Liam McGarry, and Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman will be presenting the statue in Arras, France and attending the larger commemoration of the battle of Vimy Ridge on Apr. 9, at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

Barrie and Arras have a growing relationship based on the sacrifice of Canadian veterans in defense of freedom during the First World War. The donation of the statue is intended to honour their memory and build the ongoing relationship between the two communities.

The statue will be presented at the historic City Hall in the Town of Arras April 10, 2017—one day after the hundred year anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge, a day on which Canadian soldiers won a great victory that was part of the Battle of Arras during World War One.

On this day, in the words of Canadian historian Pierre Berton, “A colony became a nation”, as Canadians fought together to take Vimy Ridge as part of a broader Allied offensive. La Ville D’Arras will display the statue until it is permanently installed.

“The presentation of this statue and its hosting at L’Hotel De Ville symbolizes the ties between the City of Barrie and La Ville D’Arras,” said Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Many of the Canadian soldiers who died at Vimy were trained in warfare at CFB Borden. The ties between Barrie and Arras were forged by our soldiers one hundred years ago, whose sacrifice will never be forgotten. This statue calls us to remember their bravery.”

Barrie-area resident Marlene Hilton Moore is the artist who created the statue, which is called The Bugler. There is a second identical statue; the other stands at the Borden Legacy Monument in Barrie, and was dedicated by the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau at a ceremony on Jun. 9, 2016.

Moore is internationally recognized for her work and is the sculptor of The Valiants Memorial, a monument to 350 years of the evolution of Canada through its military conflicts, which rings the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada.

The statue was commissioned by a group of individuals in Barrie who wished to recognize the one hundred years of Canadian military commitment to freedom, the special ties between Canada and France, and between Barrie and Arras.

Led by H.Col. James Massie, these individuals formed the Borden Legacy Project to recognize “one hundred years of freedom”. The statue is entirely funded by private donors.