Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

August 10, 2008 14:00 ET

Ceremony Marks National Peacekeepers' Day at Peacekeepers Park in Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 10, 2008) - Representing the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Art Hanger, Member of Parliament for Calgary Northeast, accompanied by Colonel (Retired) Don Ethell of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP), today joined Veterans, community leaders and members of the public in a ceremony honouring Canadians who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Peace Support Operations around the world.

August 9, 2008 was marked across the country as Canada's first National Peacekeepers' Day, following passage of Bill C-287 in June. It was on August 9, 1974, that Canada lost the most lives in a single incident on a peacekeeping mission. Nine Canadian Forces peacekeepers were killed while serving with the United Nations Emergency Force in Egypt and Israel.

"Peacekeeping is a Canadian tradition," said Minister Thompson. "It is only fitting that we would have a National Peacekeepers' Day to remember and honour the men and women who are responsible for our long and proud tradition of peacekeeping."

The Calgary Chapter of CAVUNP received funding of up to $12,550 through Veterans Affairs Canada's Community Engagement Partnership Fund to support the Calgary ceremony. This year, approximately 500 people gathered to pay tribute to the Canadians who have served in Peace Support Operations around the world. The ceremony commemorated Canadians who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving on Peace Support Operations, including those who have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.

"The annual recognition of all those Canadians who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country on Peace Support Operations is important to all Canadians," said Colonel (Retired) Don Ethell. "Today we honour the 204 Canadians including the 'Buffalo Nine' who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to Queen and country. May they rest in peace."

Canadian peacekeepers help foster sustainable peace and security in countries devastated by conflict. Canada's Armed Forces, Canadian diplomats, the RCMP, provincial and municipal police forces and civilians all take part. Peacekeepers deliver humanitarian aid, supervise elections, repatriate refugees, train local police forces, disarm warring factions, clear mines and improve education and democratic systems.

More information on Canada's role in peacekeeping and events marking National Peacekeepers' Day can be found on the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Heather MacDonald
    Acting Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7428
    or
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    Ruslan Tracz
    Acting Senior Communications Advisor
    204-983-7531
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649
    or
    Peak Communications
    Shael Gelfand
    403-276-7860
    403-818-8849 (cell)