VIMY RIDGE, FRANCE (NEWS1130) – Today is the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Governor General David Johnston will preside over a ceremony at the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France to mark the anniversary.

Around 5,000 Canadian high school students, who are travelling to the memorial with Veteran Affairs Minister Steven Blaney will pay their respects to fallen Canadian soldiers.

The memorial at Vimy Ridge honours all soldiers who lost their lives at Vimy Ridge, as well as all Canadian soldiers who died in the First World War and do not have proper graves.

Many historians view the First World War battle as a significant turning point in Canada’s transformation from a colony to an independent country.

It was on Easter Monday, 1917 that the four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting side-by-side for the first time, captured the German-held ground of Vimy Ridge. By the fourth day, April 12th, Canadians controlled the entire ridge at a cost of almost 3,600 lives.

No veterans of the battle are alive today to attend the ceremonies. Canada’s last veteran of the First World War, John Babcock, died at the age of 109 in February 2010.

In Ottawa, over 100 Royal Canadian Army cadets spent the night standing at the National War Memorial to mark the anniversary. They stood there until the official wreath laying ceremony was held at 10 a.m. ET.

Here in Vancouver, the occasion will be marked with an event at Victory Square at 11 a.m. PT.