OTTAWA, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined Korean War Veterans from around the Ottawa region to mark the closing of the Year of the Korean War Veteran. Throughout the year, and culminating as the focus of Veterans' Week 2013, initiatives were undertaken in communities across the nation to honour the more than 26,000 brave Canadians who served—516 of whom gave their lives—in defence of the Republic of Korea.
"This has been a remarkable year of commemoration. The Korean War Armistice, signed 60 years ago, saw an end to the active fighting in one of the most significant military engagements that Canada has faced," said Minister Fantino at a gathering at the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre. "We are immensely proud of these Veterans, and humbly acknowledge the great sacrifices they made to restore peace and stability in the Republic of Korea, helping foster the respected and vibrant country it is today."
On June 19, 2013, Bill S-213: An Act Respecting a National Day of Remembrance to Honour Canadian Veterans of the Korean War received Royal Assent and established a new national day of recognition—Korean War Veterans Day—to be held each year on July 27.
Many events and projects celebrating Korean War Veterans took place in 2013. In April, Veterans Affairs Canada accompanied 36 Canadian Veterans on a journey of remembrance to the Republic of Korea, many of whom were returning for the first time since their service. A special weekend of activities took place in Ottawa this past June, which saw approximately 200 Veterans participate in ceremonial tributes, such as the unveiling of the Korea 60 exhibit at the Canadian War Museum. In July, Minister Fantino, accompanied by Senator Yonah Martin, led a delegation of Canadian Veterans to Korea to participate in a host of commemorative ceremonies, including the dedication of a new Canadian monument at Korea's War Memorial.
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 Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs