While Canada’s WWI and WWII veterans are always in the hearts and minds of Canadians, it was for the first time this year that the federal government officially designated a day to mark the memory of Canadian soldiers fallen in the Korean War which continued from 1950 to 1953.
Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins took the lead in introducing the legislation which resulted in the declaration of 2013 as the Year of Korean War Veterans and the designation of July 27 of each and every year as the “Korean War Veterans’ Day” under Bill S-213.
Calkins’ great uncle James Calkins fought and lost his life in the Korean campaign launched by the United Nations against the Chinese occupation of North Korea.
Appropriately enough, the first ever Korean War Veteran’s Day was marked in Korea by a delegation headed Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Julian Fantino.
The delegation included MP Calkins and Senator Yonah Martin alongside the 10 veterans of the Korean war.
Calkins, in a speech during the Royal Canadian Legion’s Awards ceremony in Ponoka said he was proud to have initiated the legislation.