OTTAWA, July 24, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined by Senator Yonah Martin, will lead a delegation of Canadian Korean War Veterans as they return to the Republic of Korea to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.
"Together, we are returning to a proud, democratic and free nation that stands today as a testament to the service and sacrifice of Canadian Veterans," said Minister Fantino. "We return to Korea to say to those who fought and to those who gave their lives that we will never forget. We will recognize the immense contributions and service of all the brave Canadian Veterans who came to the aid of the people of South Korea more than 60 years ago."
Minister Fantino and the Veterans will be in the Republic of Korea from July 25 to 30 to participate in a range of commemorative events organized by both the governments of Canada and the Republic of Korea.
"What these Veterans did to help Korea become the dynamic and prosperous nation it is today is simply extraordinary," said Senator Martin. "These Veterans prevailed in the most difficult conditions of war. Those hard days and their hard-won victories live on in our collective memory."
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 to restore peace. The names of the 516 Canadians who laid down their lives in service during the conflict are inscribed in the Book of Remembrance for Korea located in the Peace Tower in Ottawa.
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.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to 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 Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs