Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire and their son Xavier stand in front of the headstone of a member of Mrs Trudeau's family, who was killed during World War I, as they visit the Canadian Military Cemetery of Beny-sur-Mer, northwestern France on April 10, 2017. All pics/AFP
Trudeau with his family were in France where the Canadian PM led commemorations on April 9, for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge which was part of a larger British-led offensive that included Australian soldiers, known as the Battle of Arras
Justin Trudeau with wife Sophie and son Xavier
The ceremony was held at the grand war memorial that marks the site of the battle and is a revered national symbol, is on the back of Canada's USD 20 bill to this day.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Sophie with son Xavier
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of the British royal family were among the dignitaries commemorating the centenary Sunday of the World War I battle of Vimy, in northern France.
About 20,000 people, including many Canadians, were expected to gather on Vimy Ridge to remember the day that outnumbered Canadian troops succeeded in taking a strategic position from the Germans. Previous attempts by British and French troops had failed.
The battle and victory have become an important part of Canada's national identity, symbolising the shift from a former British colony to an independent nation. Canadian troops prepared carefully, learning from the mistakes of previous attempts to reclaim the ridge. To protect soldiers from shelling, they built miles of tunnels one of the war's great engineering feats allowing troops to pop up quickly into their positions.
On April 9, 1917, the Canadians succeeded in taking Vimy Ridge. Over 3,600 soldiers died and over 7,000 were injured in the three-day battle. The government of Canada hosted the sombre ceremony of official speeches and performances by Canadian artistes such as singer Loreena McKennitt.