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Korean War Veterans Day Established

Taking the salute during the parade are (from left) Wan-Geun Choi of South Korea, Governor General David Johnston, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney and Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. [PHOTO: TOM MACGREGOR]

Taking the salute during the parade are (from left) Wan-Geun Choi of South Korea, Governor General David Johnston, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney and Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
PHOTO: TOM MACGREGOR

Canada’s Korean War veterans were given new recognition in June when Parliament passed a law declaring that Korean War Veterans Day be held each year on July 27.

Governor General David Johnston signed the bill giving royal assent on June 19. The date was chosen since the Korea Armistice Agreement separating North and South Korea along the 38th Parallel was signed July 27, 1953.

Later in June, Korean War veterans were honoured again with a weekend of activities in the Ottawa area, marking the 63rd anniversary of the start of the three-year war.

Receptions and a gala dinner were held and a new exhibit titled Korea 60 opened at the Canadian War Museum. Korea 60 features many images taken from the personal photographs of the Canadian soldiers who were there. The exhibit runs until Jan. 5.

Events ended with a wreath placing ceremony at the National War Memorial on June 23.

Governor General Johnston placed a wreath along with Deputy Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Wan-Geun Choi of South Korea. Also in the viceregal party were Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney, Senator Yonah Martin, Veterans Affairs Deputy Minister Mary Chaput and Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the commander-designate of the Royal Canadian Navy representing the Canadian Forces.

Doug Finney, National President-elect of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada and KVA Unit 7 President Bill Black also placed a wreath.

Dominion President Gordon Moore and Director of Administration Steven Clark represented The Royal Canadian Legion in placing poppies following the placing of wreaths.

“Today, we come together to honour our Canadian veterans who served during the Korean War. The bravery, sacrifices and accomplishments of our men and women in Korea continue to resonate there today, and I assure you, they will never be forgotten,” said Blaney.

More than 26,000 Canadian men and women served during the Korean War and approximately 7,000 continued to serve from the signing of the armistice and the end of 1955.

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