Statement by Minister Fantino to Honour Veterans of the Medak Pocket
OTTAWA, Sept. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - A ceremony was held today at Canadian Forces Base Shilo, in Manitoba, home of the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Battle of the Medak Pocket. Member of Parliament Ted Opitz attended the ceremony, and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement to honour the Veterans of the Battle of Medak Pocket.
"Canada has earned a well-deserved reputation for strongly contributing to international freedom and security through our commitments around the world, including to United Nations peace support missions.
"A central part of that hard-earned reputation is the efforts of thousands of Canadian Armed Forces members who served in the former Yugoslavia and worked to bring stability and democracy to that war-torn region.
"The depth of their commitment was put into sharp relief when, in September 1993, the Canadian battle group in Croatia was busy contributing to the work of the United Nations Protection Force to provide peace and security to the region.
"While conducting operations in a region known as the Medak Pocket, Croatian forces attacked the Canadian and French peacekeepers who were tasked with bringing stability to Sector South. Under exceptionally difficult circumstances, Regular and Reserve Force Canadian soldiers demonstrated outstanding professionalism and, thanks to their decisive action, they stood their ground and persevered.
"Their efforts, in what is now known as the Battle of Medak Pocket, marked the fiercest combat Canadian soldiers had engaged in since the Korean War, and helped to eventually bring stability to the region and stop future atrocities, including further ethnic cleansing.
"In 2002, the Governor General of Canada formally recognized the professional actions of the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, awarding the unit the Commander-in-Chief's Unit Commendation.
"And today, on this very important anniversary, we once again remember and pay tribute to the contributions of these brave Canadian Veterans who served abroad to protect an often fragile peace, who stood up to restore stability, and who defended human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
"Lest we forget."
For more information on Canada's role in international peacekeeping and peace support missions, visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to defend the Republic of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on Canada's role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs CanadaFor further information:
Media Relations Officer
Veterans Affairs Canada
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Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
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