SAINT JOHN, Sept. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, was joined today by His Excellency Cho Hee-yong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, at a ceremony hosted by Branch 69 of the Royal Canadian Legion (Lancaster). During the ceremony, Ambassador Cho presented Canadian Korean War Veterans with the Ambassador for Peace Medal in recognition of their efforts and sacrifices in restoring democracy to South Korea. Veterans at Ridgewood Veterans Unit of the Saint John Regional Hospital were presented with medals and Government of Canada Certificates of Recognition at a separate private ceremony.
"Our nation made significant contributions and sacrifices during the Korean War," said MP Weston. "Canada's sons and daughters served bravely in a nation far from home in order to defend our shared values of peace, democracy, and freedom from tyranny and oppression. The Government of Canada is committed to honouring each of these brave men and women as we mark the Year of the Korean War Veteran in 2013."
"Today, we honour Canadian Korean War Veterans," said Ambassador Cho. "The Republic of Korea will forever remember each of these men and women—those who came home and those who did not—and will ensure their legacy is honoured. Sixty years later, the gratitude for what they gave us still burns brightly in our hearts."
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.
Veterans attending today's ceremony will also receive a Government of Canada Certificate of Recognition as a lasting reminder of the important contributions Canadian Korean War Veterans made to the peace and security we enjoy today. Canadian Korean War Veterans can receive a Certificate of Recognition by calling 1-866-522-2122 or visiting veterans.gc.ca.
From 1950 to 1953, more than 26,000 Canadians served in Korea—working to restore peace and stability to the area. Ceasefire negotiations began in 1951, however fighting continued for another two years before the Armistice was signed at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953. Some 7,000 Canadians continued to serve between the signing of the Armistice and the end of 1955, with some Canadian troops 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
For further information:
Media Relations Officer
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs