OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 24, 2011) - Senator Yonah Martin, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, was joined by the Honourable Sung Choon Park, Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs for the Republic of Korea, to mark the 58th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice and the service and sacrifice of Veterans of the Korean War. A brief ceremony was held today at the Monument to Canadian Fallen followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial.
"Our government is committed to remembering those Canadians who fought and sacrificed so much in the defence of freedom and democracy," said Minister Blaney. "The Korean War was one of Canada's most significant military engagements of the 20th century. Those who fought there, many of whom gave their lives, must not be forgotten."
From 1950 to 1953, more than 26,000 Canadians served in Korea, working to restore peace and stability to the area. There were 516 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace, freedom and justice for the people of South Korea.
"Our Canadian Veterans are extraordinary individuals. We saw that during the Korean War when they travelled halfway around the world to a land so different from their own, to answer our nation's call," said Senator Martin. "We must preserve the legacy of our Veterans and ensure that younger generations are aware of the important contribution of Canadian Veterans to our military history."
At a reception following the ceremonies, the Korean Minister presented "Ambassador of Peace" medals to 11 local Korea War Veterans. The medals are normally presented to Korea War Veterans when they return to Korea. As these individuals have not been able to return and given that the Korean Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs is in Ottawa, it was considered a fitting gesture to present the medals in the Nation's Capital.
For more information on the Canadian contribution to the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.