In advance of Vimy Ridge Day, Sunday, Apr. 9, Banff-Airdrie MP visited the Cochrane and Airdrie branches of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Yesterday, Richards, the shadow minister for Veterans Affairs, honored those present who served our nation with official Vimy Foundation pins.
In Cochrane, the commemorative pins were presented to David Usherwood, Lawrence Charles, Steve Merritt, Steven Bachalo, and Brian Walford.
Walford accepted the pin while wearing a 10th Battalion uniform. Active from September 1914 to 1920, the battalion participated in every major Canadian battle of the First World War, including Vimy Ridge.
"Any time you get the opportunity to commemorate something so significant to Canada, like Vimy Ridge, and when you can celebrate, honor, respect, and appreciate our veterans and the service that they've given to this country, it's something we should all be seeking to do as often as we can," says Richards.
This is the first year Vimy Week has been recognized.
Vimy Ridge marked the first time Canadian soldiers fought together as a single assaulting force, leading to an Allied victory on Hill 145 and Pimple, and an awaking of Canadian nationalism.
Sadly, the fighting left 3,598 Canadians dead and another 7,000 wounded.
"When you think about all the sacrifices that have been made throughout history by Canadians to preserve our freedoms, and you think about the men and women that serve this country, we wouldn't have the opportunities we have today without them."
Richards made a similar presentation earlier in the day in Airdrie.