Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

September 24, 2010 15:12 ET

Senator Yonah Martin to Attend Commemorative Events in Korea to Honour Canada's Contribution

­­­­­­­OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 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 events in Korea, this week, in honour of Canadian soldiers who fought and laid down their lives during the Korean War. As part of the Republic of Korea's efforts to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, Senator Martin will attend the Recapture of Seoul Ceremony.

"Being of Korean decent, I am deeply honoured to be attending this commemorative event," said Senator Martin. "Although Korea is half a world away, the friendship between Canada and South Korea has been growing for more than half a century and is strengthened by our shared history during the Korean War."

Senator Martin's visit to Korea takes place during a year-long commemoration and education program promoted by the Republic of Korea. The themes for the events are remembrance and legacy, honor and gratitude, and harmony and cooperation. The program is focused on educating youth and expressing gratitude to the Korean War Veterans at home and abroad for their noble sacrifices.

"Sixty years ago, Canada answered Korea's call for help," said Senator Martin. "I am very pleased to know that the contribution of Canadian Veterans is so well respected and honoured in Korea. The ultimate sacrifices of 516 Canadians and the achievements of every soldier in Korea will not be forgotten."

 The Canadian Forces are sending a 40-member musical contingent to the Republic of Korea to participate in the 60th anniversary events. Pipes and drums from the Army and the Air Force and the Air Command Show Band from 17 Wing Winnipeg will perform at numerous concerts and parades in Seoul, Busan and Gyeryong City from September 27 to October 5.

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

Backgrounder

Canada Remembers the Korean War

1950-1953

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. With the passing of time, it is still as important to remember the sacrifices and achievements made by Canadians to re-establish peace and freedom.

On June 25, 1950, the forces of North Korea crossed the 38th Parallel into the Republic of Korea. This marked the beginning of hostilities throughout the country known to its people as the Land of the Morning Calm.

Altogether, more than 26,000 Canadians served in the Korean War, and another 7,000 served between the signing of the Armistice and the end of 1955, with some Canadian troops remaining until 1957. This was a larger contribution in proportion to Canada's population than most of the nations which provided troops for the international force. The Canadian casualties numbered over 1,500 including 516 who lost their lives and whose names are inscribed in the Korean War Book of Remembrance.

The Korea Armistice Agreement was signed at Panmunjeom on July 27, 1953, ending three years of fighting. The truce which followed was uneasy and Korea has remained a divided country, yet the United Nations intervention in Korea was a move of incalculable significance. For the first time in history an international organization had intervened effectively with a multinational force to stem aggression. The United Nations emerged from the crisis a stronger organization.

Canada's contribution in the Korean War marked a new stage in the country's development as a nation. Canadian action in Korea was followed by peacekeeping operations which have since seen Canadian troops deployed around the world in new efforts to promote international freedom and maintain world peace. 

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