OTTAWA, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Veterans of the Korean War from across Canada were on hand today at the Canadian War Museum to launch a special weekend of events in honour of their service. The events of the Weekend in Honour of Veterans of the Korean War, organized by Veterans Affairs Canada, were launched with the unveiling of Korea 60, a new exhibition at the Canadian War Museum which explores Canada's role in the conflict 60 years after the Armistice was signed. About 200 Korean War veterans are expected to participate in the weekend events.
Korea 60 presents a selection of photographs that depict Canada's role in the war and subsequent ceasefire, and illustrate the conflict's enduring legacy. Many of the historical images were chosen from personal photographs taken by Canadian soldiers. The exhibition, which will be on display until January 5, 2014, complements the newly enhanced Korean War exhibits in the Museum's permanent exhibition galleries.
"These amazing photos bring to life and provide an insider's view of the incredible experiences of Canada's Veterans during the Korean War," said the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie. "These photos also remind us of the true meaning of selfless service and sacrifice, and stepping up when our friends and allies need our help."
"The Korean War is an often overlooked but important chapter in Canada's military history and was a defining and often devastating experience for the Canadian combatants and their families," said James Whitham, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. "We are proud to take the opportunity afforded by the anniversary of the Armistice to reflect on our veterans' service and sacrifice to enhance Canadians' understanding of the war and its consequences."
Additional weekend activities at the War Museum include a private gala dinner hosted by the Canada Korea Society on Friday night. On Saturday, June 22, the War Museum will present a special lineup of public programming. Visitors can enjoy a live performance of songs that were popular among front-line Canadian troops in Korea; speak with Canadian veterans and learn about their experiences through the Museum's Witness to History program; and see the Korean War Book of Remembrance, which normally lies in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. The Historica-Dominion Institute will also be capturing veterans' stories as part of the Memory Project.
The Korean War began in 1950. The fighting ended with the signature of the Korean Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953. More than 30,000 Canadians fought as part of the United Nations Command which defended South Korea against attacks from North Korean and Chinese forces. Five hundred and sixteen Canadians died during the Korean War, and many more were injured.
The Canadian War Museum is Canada's national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada's military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.
Image with caption: "This photo from 1953 shows a Canadian gunner handing candy to a Korean boy at the rail yards in Tokchon, South Korea. (CNW Group/Canadian War Museum)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130621_C2522_PHOTO_EN_28352.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian War Museum
For further information:
For Canadian War Museum
Manager, Public Affairs
Canadian War Museum
Avra Gibbs Lamey
Communications and Media Relations Officer
Canadian War Museum
For Veterans Affairs Canada
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs