Steven Blaney, minister of Veterans Affairs, joined Senator Yonah Martin and Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins to express support of Bill S-213: An Act Respecting a National Day of Remembrance in Honour of Veterans of the Korean War, which has passed through third reading in the House of Commons. The act will establish a new national day of recognition — Korean War Veterans Day — to be held each year on July 27.
“Setting aside July 27 of each year as a day of remembrance will honour the more than 26,000 Canadian men and women who came to the aid of South Koreans during the Korean War, and in particular the 516 Canadians who gave their lives in service to defend the values of peace and freedom,” said Blaney.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, and the fighting ended on July 27, 1953, with the signing of the Korea Armistice Agreement. Approximately 7,000 Canadians continued to serve in the tense theatre of operations between the signing of the armistice and the end of 1955, with some Canadian troops remaining until 1957.
“The Korean War will always be an important chapter in our country’s proud military history and it deserves this special day of recognition,” said Calkins. “July 27 will honour our shared history, which includes actively ensuring that Canada’s Veterans and the Korean War are never forgotten.”
In 2013, the Government of Canada will mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice with events in both Korea and Canada on the newly established Korean War Veterans Day.
“The Korean War Veterans Day Act will help to ensure the Korean War will forever be remembered,” said Senator Martin. “It is our duty to do everything we can to recognize and honour the sacrifices made by all who served in the Korean War.”
The names of the 516 Canadians who died in service during the war, including the nearly 400 who lie at rest in the Republic of Korea, are inscribed in the Korean War Book of Remembrance, which is on display in the Peace Tower in Ottawa.
“Canadian Veterans of the Korean War are extremely honoured by this recognition,” said John Bishop, National President of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada. “The values for which they fought are the same values Canada continues to defend throughout the world today. Their sacrifices were not made in vain—South Korea is a vibrant nation today as a result. We applaud the Harper Government for demonstrating an unwavering devotion to Veterans through this milestone initiative.”