OTTAWA, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, joined Senator Yonah Martin, Canadian Veterans of the Korean War, and a special Korean delegation of Veterans and Ministry officials at the Canadian War Museum for the opening gala launching a weekend of activities to celebrate the Year of the Korean War Veteran.
"It is an honour to be here this evening among so many Veterans of the Korean War," said Minister Blaney. "More than 26,000 Canadians served in the Korean War to help Koreans know the same liberty we've always enjoyed. Sixty years later, Canadians can see the results; the Republic of Korea remains a free democratic country."
The gala was organized by the Canada Korea Society, in partnership with the Canadian War Museum and Veterans Affairs Canada, in honour of Canada's Korean War Veterans who have gathered in Ottawa this weekend. They will participate in a series of activities, including an official wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial on Sunday, to mark the 63rd anniversary of the break-out of the Korean War.
"This year we honour our Canadian Veterans who served during the Korean War and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for a people in a far away country that was virtually unknown to Canadians," said Senator Martin. "Korea has risen from the ashes to become a vibrant democracy, and Canadians made a difference beyond measure."
In honour of the Year of the Korean War Veteran, commemorative activities will take place across Canada throughout the year. Earlier this year, the Republic of Korea and Canadian Korean War Veterans were honoured in the Imjin Classic hockey game during the 2013 Winterlude in Ottawa. Minister Blaney also joined Veterans on a Battle of Kapyong commemorative visit to the Republic of Korea, in April, allowing Canadian Veterans to pay tribute to their fallen comrades and to see the progress the Republic of Korea has made since the signing of the Armistice.
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 Canada's role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
Image with caption: "Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney recognizes the Korean War Veterans at the opening gala dinner for a weekend of commemorative activities in their honour. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130621_C2628_PHOTO_EN_28381.jpg