Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

September 28, 2010 09:51 ET

60th Anniversary of the Korean War: Senator Yonah Martin Commemorates Canada's Sacrifices With United Nations Allies

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2010) - The Honourable Yonah Martin, Senator for British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), today attended the Recapture of Seoul Ceremony at Gyeong-Bok Palace in Seoul, Korea.

"My heritage allows me to understand how Canadian and United Nations Allied Veterans are honoured and so well respected in Korea," said Senator Martin. "Canadians served in Korea on land, in the air and on the sea. We have a sacred duty to remember and pay tribute to all who fought to defend the freedoms South Koreans and Canadians enjoy today."

More than 26,000 Canadians served in Korea between 1950 and 1953, and another 7,000 served between the signing of the Armistice and the end of 1955. Some Canadian troops remained in a peacekeeping capacity until 1957.

In mid-September 1950, a daring amphibious assault was launched at Inchon, the sea port of Seoul. Sailing from Japan, Allied forces landed on September 15 and quickly overcame all enemy resistance in the seaport area. By September 26, 1950 Seoul was re-captured. Today's ceremony commemorated the Allied effort in recapturing South Korea's capital city.

Yesterday, Senator Martin visited the Korean National Cemetery and the Korean War Memorial and Museum. She participated in wreath layings to pay tribute to the 516 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice and to recognize the contribution of all who fought in Korea.

Tonight, Senator Martin will attend a banquet with Korean War Veterans from the 21 United Nations, hosted by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea. Six Korean War Veterans from Canada will be participating in the Revisit Korea program. Organized and funded by the Republic of Korea, the program aims to thank and honour Korean War Veterans from the United Nations allies. 

The Senator's final day in Korea includes tours of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the Joint Security Area (JSA) and a briefing by the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC).

For more information on the 60th anniversary events of the Korean War, visit http://eng.koreanwar60.go.kr/.

Backgrounder

Canadian Korean War Veterans Attending Commemorative Events in Seoul

From September 26–30, 2010, the Honourable Yonah Martin, Senator for British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), will attend commemorative events in Korea to mark the 60th anniversary of the Recapture of Seoul.

During this time, six Canadian Veterans of the Korean War will take part in the Revisit Korea program, organized by the Republic of Korea. The program brings Korean War Veterans from the 21 United Nations allies back to Korea to thank them for their sacrifice and contribution. The participants will attend commemorative events which include tours of Panmunjeom, the War Memorial of Korea and the Seoul National Cemetery. A banquet and cultural and industrial tours will give the Veterans an understanding of Korea's advancement since the war.

The following Veterans will participate in the Revisit Korea program during the 60th anniversary of the Recapture of Seoul:

Mr. Kenneth R. Villiger Calgary, Alberta
Age: 79
Period in Korea: October 1951 to October 1952
Regiment: 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
 
Mr. Anthony (Tony) Elliot Amhearstview, Ontario
Age: 84
Period in Korea: May 1951 to April 1953,
Regiment: Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)
 
Mr. Thomas B. Slattery Croston, British Columbia
Age: 79
Period in Korea: November 1951 to November 1952
Regiment: Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
 
Mr. Henry Martinak Windsor, Ontario
Age: 82
Period in Korea: November 1950 to February 1952
Regiment: 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
 
Mr. William G. Leslie St., Angus, Ontario
Age: 81 (will turn 82 during trip)
Period in Korea: February 1953 to January 1954
Regiment: 191 Canadian Infantry Workshop
 
Mr. Patrick J. Ezekiel Barrie, Ontario
Age: 80
Period in Korea: October 1953 to October 1954
Regiment: Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada

In Canada, the Korean Revisit Program is coordinated by the Republic of Korea and the Korean Veterans Association of Canada. In April, 62 Canadian Veterans revisited Korea and 14 more will participate in November of this year.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    613-992-3465
    Cell.: 613-608-3252
    or
    Canadian Embassy in Korea
    Sergeant Wayne Brunt
    Canadian Defence Attache Assistant
    82-2-3783-6251