Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 21, 2007 14:30 ET

Canadian Forces Pay Tribute to Canadian Peacekeepers, Past and Present

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2007) - In honour of United Nations Day on October 24, a ceremony was held today at the National Peacekeeping Monument to pay tribute to Canadian peacekeepers both past and present. The ceremony was an opportunity for all Canadians to recognize our peacekeepers and to express our sincere gratitude for their sacrifices.

"I would like to extend my congratulations and appreciation to the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, the Canadian Forces, the RCMP and other veterans groups for organizing this event to honour peacekeepers," said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "Peace support operations continue to define Canada as a nation, and our contribution on the world stage".

Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orleans, Ontario, Mr. Royal Galipeau, deputy speaker of the House, was in attendance and spoke of the importance of the day. "This day represents an opportunity for all Canadians to thank our peacekeepers for the sacrifices they continue to make around the world every day".

Lieutenant-General W.J. Natynczyk, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, addressed the group and updated mission plaques on the Monument wall. The ceremony officially closed two missions, leaving 10 still open on the wall.

Memorial Cross recipient, Mrs. Hess-von Kruedener laid flowers in memory of fallen peacekeepers. She is the wife of the late Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener who died while serving as a United Nations observer in the Khiyam area of Southern Lebanon. A Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry officer, Major Hess-Von Kruedener brought great honour to the Canadian Forces and was recently awarded the Meritorious Service Cross.

Since first participating in peacekeeping missions over 50 years ago, Canada has deployed thousands of men and women on hazardous missions around the world. The role of Canada in peace support operations continues to evolve. From observing cease-fires to diplomatic negotiations to coordinating humanitarian projects, Canada remains committed to bringing peace, security and stability to those who need it the most.

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