FREDERICTON, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, was pleased to welcome His Excellency Cho Hee-yong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, to the region and to thank the Ambassador for meeting with Canada's Korean War Veterans in Fredericton, a personal gesture much appreciated by the Veterans. Earlier today, Ambassador Cho attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Fredericton Cenotaph and then presented the Ambassador for Peace Medal to local Veterans in recognition of their efforts and sacrifices in restoring democracy to South Korea.
"When the call came for our brave Canadian men and women to go to the defense of a country half a world away, they did so in droves," said MP Ashfield. "I join Ambassador Cho in extending a heartfelt thanks to all Canadian Korean War Veterans—your contributions have not and will not be forgotten. Your sacrifices were not in vain."
"This year, the Republic of Korea marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and the restoration of democracy and freedom in our country. Without the help of the courageous Veterans here today—and the thousands of other Canadian men and women who came to our aid in that dark time—that may not have been possible," said Ambassador Cho. "Our nation is forever grateful to each of them."
The Republic of Korea's Ambassador for Peace Medal is awarded to Korean War Veterans as part of the Korea Revisit Program. In 2013, the Government of Korea is honouring Veterans who are unable to participate or return to Korea at ceremonies held across Canada.
On June 25, 1950, armed forces from North Korea crossed the 38th Parallel into the Republic of Korea, marking the beginning of hostilities between the two countries. More than 26,000 Canadian men and women served in the Korean War—working to restore peace and stability to the area, which came with the signing of the Armistice at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953. Thousands of Canadians continued to serve there in the years following the Korean War, with some remaining until 1957. In total, 516 brave young Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War.
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 Canada
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Media Relations Officer
Veterans Affairs Canada
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