OTTAWA, June 19, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, Senator Yonah Martin and Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin Blaine Calkins today celebrated Royal Assent of Bill S-213: An Act Respecting a National Day of Remembrance in Honour of Veterans of the Korean War. The Act creates Korean War Veterans Day to be held each year on July 27.
"This national day of recognition honours Canadian men and women in uniform who came to the aid of South Koreans during the Korean War, and further ensures that their service and sacrifices are never forgotten," said Minister Blaney.
"I owe my life to all those who served and sacrificed in the Korean War," said Senator Martin. "The passage of this Bill is one more way of ensuring that future generations remember and honour the sacrifices made by our Canadian Veterans."
"As we mark the 60th anniversary of the Armistice and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea, Korean War Veterans Day will serve as a lasting reminder of the significant role Canadians played in the Korean War," said MP Calkins.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, and the active fighting ended on July 27, 1953, with the signing of the Korea Armistice Agreement. Approximately 7,000 Canadians continued to serve in the tense theatre of operations between the signing of the Armistice and the end of 1955, with some Canadian troops remaining until 1957. In 2013, the Government of Canada will mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice with events in both Korea and Canada on the newly established Korean War Veterans Day.
The names of the 516 Canadians who gave their lives in service during the war, including the nearly 400 who lie at rest in the Republic of Korea, are inscribed in the Korean War Book of Remembrance, which is on display in the Peace Tower's Memorial Chamber in Ottawa.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.