UCLUELET, BC, April 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Senator Yonah Martin on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, honoured the 63rd anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong in a ceremony at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
In tribute to the actions of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry forces, the Canadian government honours the memory of those who fought in the pivotal battle at Kapyong and the Korean War by marking this important event in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
The Battle of Kapyong took place in late April of 1951, after the retreating Chinese and North Korean Forces regrouped and overwhelmed the South Korean Forces in the valley of Kapyong. The ability of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, as part of the larger 27th British Commonwealth Brigade, to hold hill 667 during an intense night battle was key in preventing infiltration of the larger United Nations commanding forces and helped forge a lasting friendship between Canada and the Republic of Korea.
- In 1997 Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada and Hallyo Haesang Sea National Park of Korea were symbolically twinned, and in 1998 a cairn and plaque were installed at Radar Hill in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to honour the service of Canadian troops and their heroic achievement in the battle of Kapyong.
- The Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953 with over 26,000 Canadians in service during the war under the command of the United Nations Forces led by the United States.
- The soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry persevered in the face of great adversity to help prevent a potentially costly defeat for the South Korean and UN forces in the Battle of Kapyong.
- The battle came at the cost of the lives of 10 Canadian soldiers and injured 23. Five hundred and sixteen Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the Korean War.
- The Americans awarded the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry the the United States Presidential Unit Citation for their heroic actions at Kapyong.
- Through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four marine conservation areas Parks Canada tells the stories of Canada's natural, cultural and historic treasures and plays a key role in presenting the fabric that makes up our great nation of Canada.
"I am very proud of the collaborative work that Parks Canada is doing to honour our shared heritage. In our memory of the battle of Kapyong we honour not only our past but the important role that Canada continues to play on the world stage".
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada
"The unerring bravery of the Canadians who held that crucial position during the Battle of Kapyong is a source of national pride. It shows Canada's deepest commitment to the common goals of democracy, freedom, and opportunity for all."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"It is a great privilege to be here today on behalf of the Government of Canada to honour those who lost their lives and those who fought in the battle of Kapyong. Though the friendship between Canada and the Republic of Korea was forged in war, it is those sacrifices that have allowed us to now gather in peace and honour our past by the commitments we have made to our future in the protection and presentation of our twinned national parks."
The Honourable Yonah Martin, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Veterans Affairs Canada
Korean Veterans Association of Canada
SOURCE: Parks Canada
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Officer Parks Canada - Coastal BC Field Unit