OTTAWA, Aug. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Parm Gill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and members of police services from across Canada at Reconciliation: The Peacekeeping Monument to mark National Peacekeepers' Day.
The Parliamentary Secretary participated in the reviewing party and laid a floral tribute on behalf of the Government of Canada in honour of Canadian soldiers who have served on security missions around the world.
This year's event marks the 50th year of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Cyprus. Canada's contribution has not been without sacrifice—28 Canadian personnel lost their lives serving as part of the mission.
- A national Peacekeepers' Day event takes place each year in Ottawa, on the Sunday nearest August 9, at the National Peacekeeping Monument.
- National Peacekeepers' Day was first established in 2008, and August 9th was chosen to coincide with the greatest single-day loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission. It was on August 9, 1974, that all nine Canadians aboard a United Nations-marked Canadian transport aircraft were killed during a regular resupply mission in the Middle East when their plane was shot down by Syrian missiles.
- More than 125,000 Canadians have served on international security missions over the past six decades—a record unsurpassed by any nation.
- Since the late 1940s, Canadian soldiers have served overseas in a variety of United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other multinational task forces.
"Today we come together to honour Canadian peacekeepers and mark their significant contributions to peacekeeping missions throughout the world. On behalf of all Canadians, I extend our nation's profound gratitude for the achievements, courage and commitment of Canada's peacekeepers, as well as our steadfast support for all Canadian Veterans and their families."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"We will always remember those brave men and women who have served, and who continue to serve, in dozens of international efforts around the globe. Their selfless contributions have brought hope to those living in areas devastated by conflict. Lest we forget."
Parm Gill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs
"t is with great pride today that we celebrate those who have made a difference in the world as peacekeepers. At this time we also honour, with deep sadness, the peacekeepers who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace. We respect those who continue to serve in peacekeeping missions throughout the world. Their courage and dedication is remembered by all Canadians."
Ray Kokkonen, National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association (CPVA)
- Government of Canada to Mark 50th Anniversary of Canadian Mission in Cyprus
- National Peacekeepers' Day
- Peacekeeping Day (Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping)
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada