Minister Hehr addresses Canada's Korean War Veterans in commemorative wreath-laying ceremony at the Canadian War Museum
OTTAWA, April 22, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, addressed Canada's Korean War Veterans in a wreath-laying ceremony and reception today at the Canadian War Museum to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong.
Minister Hehr paid tribute to those who fought in this Korean War battle which took place from April 22-25, 1951, and in which soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry saw heavy action on April 24-25. The event was hosted by the Korea Veterans Association of Canada and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in partnership with the Canadian War Museum and the Korean War Commemorative Committee (KWCC).
The Battle of Kapyong was an important chapter of the Korean War, the first major international conflict following the end of the Second World War.The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korean forces invaded South Korea, beginning hostilities that lasted more than three years. More than 26,000 Canadian men and women served in the Korean War, and 516 gave their lives. Canada joined 15 other United Nations countries in sending combat forces.
Active hostilities ceased with the signing of the Armistice at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953. Following the Armistice, approximately 7,000 Canadians continued to serve in Korea until the end of 1955, with some troops remaining until 1957.
- In late April 1951, the retreating Chinese and North Korean forces regrouped and counter attacked in the western and west-central sectors of the front. The South Korean forces in one area were overwhelmed and hurriedly fell back, putting them in danger of being overrun and wiped out. The 27th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade—along with its Canadian contingent—was called up from reserve to the Kapyong Valley to cover this desperate retreat.
- Ten Canadians were killed and 23 were wounded at Kapyong. Our fallen soldiers at Kapyong were among the 516 Canadians who died in service during the Korean War.
- The heroic efforts of the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry did not go unnoticed with the Americans awarding them the United States Presidential Unit Citation—a very rare honour for a Canadian unit.
"Today, we join together to keep alive the memory of those who sacrificed so much so that the next generation can support the deeply held Canadian desire to make a real and valuable contribution to a more peaceful and prosperous world."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468