Ministers of Veterans Affairs and National Defence mark the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice
Ottawa – Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice:
“From 1950 through 1953, Canadian service members fought for freedom in Korea then remained to support peace in the years that followed.
“More than 26,000 Canadians served in the war that was half a world away from home. Tragically, 516 of those brave Canadians gave their lives in their determination to bring the dangerous conflict to an end.
“Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Cayuga, Athabaskan, and Sioux were in theatre by August 1950. The first Canadian ground troops reached the front line in February 1951, and by April, they were courageously holding back both the Chinese and North Korean advance in the Kapyong Valley, alongside their American, Australian, New Zealand, and British allies. Canadian fighter pilots would eventually serve on exchange duty with USAF squadrons, while No. 426 Squadron airlifted troops and supplies from North America to Japan.
“Signed in the village of Panmunjom on July 27, 1953, the Korean War Armistice signalled the closing of a significant chapter of Canadian military history. About 7,000 Canadian troops would continue to serve in Korea in peace support roles after the signing of the Armistice, the last of them departing in 1957.
“Some of our Korean War Veterans returned home forever changed by what they had experienced. But their service and sacrifice helped to bring an end to the active fighting on the Korean Peninsula, and peace to the people of South Korea.
“In the decades following the Armistice, South Korea has emerged as a robust democracy with a thriving economy. The efforts of Veterans and current Canadian service women and men to protect our country and values will always be honoured.
“Lest we forget.”