Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

August 09, 2009 14:02 ET

Minister Thompson Honours Canadian Peacekeepers at Ceremony in Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2009) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, accompanied by Colonel (Retired) Don Ethell of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP), participated in a ceremony here today honouring the brave Canadians who gave their lives in peace support operations around the world.

"Canada has paid a tragically high price in the name of peace around the world. We ask our peacekeepers to risk everything dear to them and, remarkably, they always do," said Minister Thompson. "We have a solemn duty to honour the contributions of these courageous men and women and to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice."

August 9, 2009, marks Canada's second official National Peacekeepers' Day. It was on this day in 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.

The Calgary Chapter of CAVUNP received funding of up to $7,600 through Veterans Affairs Canada's Community Engagement Partnership Fund to support the Calgary ceremony. This year, approximately 500 people attended the ceremony to pay tribute to Canadian peacekeepers.

"We're here to honour the brave Canadians who gave their lives in peace support operations around the world," said Colonel (Retired) Don Ethell. "Peacekeepers serve in conflict ridden areas to bring stability to nations, to keep Canadians safe and make the world a more humane and peaceful place."

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

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
    A/Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7428
    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)