OTTAWA, Jan. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced that 2013 will mark the Year of the Korean War Veteran. Minister Blaney made the announcement today at a special event held at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. He was joined by Senator Yonah Martin, representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion, the Korea Veterans Association of Canada, and Korean Veterans.
"Our Government is honoured to mark 2013 as the Year of the Korean War Veteran," said Minister Blaney. "It is our duty today to pay tribute to more 26,000 Canadian men and women in uniform who came to the aid of South Koreans during the Korean War, and in particular the 516 Canadians who gave their lives in service to defend the values of peace and freedom on the Korean peninsula."
"This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice," said Senator Yonah Martin. "In the years that followed, Korean War Veterans have diligently strived to respectfully commemorate the sacrifices of so many of their fellow Canadians. This year, our nations will pay special tribute to their sacrifices."
"The Korean War, Canada's third bloodiest conflict, commenced in 1950," said John Bishop, National President of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada. "The 60th anniversary of the ceasefire will occur this year, and will be remembered by all those who served in Korea. We will not forget our 516 comrades who made the supreme sacrifice, or the 1,558 who were wounded. Minister Blaney's strong commitment to honouring those who served in Korea should be commended. We are very grateful for his efforts."
During the event, Minister Blaney also launched and demonstrated an interactive Web site feature, Land of the Morning Calm, which is now available at veterans.gc.ca. This feature presents Korean War history and archival footage, interviews with Korean War Veterans and an interactive history calendar. The feature is presented in broadcast style, complete with news anchor and video footage.
"I am proud to offer interactive multimedia tools that will encourage Canadians of all ages, especially youth, to come to know and be thankful for the sacrifices young men and women made during the Korean War," said Minister Blaney.
The Year of the Korean War Veteran coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and South Korea. The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, and active fighting ended on July 27, 1953, with the signing of the Korean 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.
The names of the 516 Canadians who died in service during the war, including the nearly 400 Canadians 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 in Ottawa.
For more information on Canada's role in the Korean War or the Year of the Korean War Veteran, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
Image with caption: "The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, announces the Year of the Korean War Veteran. He is accompanied by Senator Yonah Martin, His Excellency Hee-yong Cho, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea and Korean War Veterans. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130108_C4613_PHOTO_EN_22356.jpg