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Canada remembers Korean War

By: Blake Richards

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:43 am

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On July 27, Canada celebrates Korean War Veterans Day.

An important chapter in Canada’s proud military history, the Korean War saw courageous members of our armed forces stand firmly with our allies, coming to the aid of civilians under imminent threat. From 1950 to 1953, 26,000 Canadians played a crucial role in ensuring the success of the first United Nations intervention by halting the aggression and securing a truce that has held for the past 61 years.

If there is one engagement that has come to symbolize Canadian courage during the Korean War, it was the Battle of Kapyong.

During the night of April 23, 1951, advancing Chinese and North Korean forces bombarded the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment’s defensive position on a hill in the narrow Kapyong Valley.

The Australians held out as long as possible, withdrawing the following day, leaving the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry’s position exposed. At 10 p.m., the communist assaults began.

In the chaotic fighting that ensued, some Canadian positions were overrun; at one point our soldiers even called in an artillery strike on their own location to hit the enemy soldiers amongst them.

The risky manoeuvre worked and the enemy was driven off.

Holding out in the face of a much larger force, Canadian soldiers helped to halt the larger communist offensive, within several months truce negotiations began, and on July 27, 1953, an armistice finally ended the active fighting.

Our nation lost 516 of our finest during the Korean War, including 10 in the Kapyong Valley. Thanks to their sacrifice, freedom was secured on the Korean peninsula.

One of my Conservative colleagues, Senator Yonah Martin, was just one of millions spared from the yoke of communism.

Born in Seoul, she immigrated to Canada with her family in 1972, and became the first Canadian of Korean descent to serve in the Senate. Deeply appreciative of Canada’s sacrifices, she co-sponsored the bill to create Korean War Veterans Day, seeking to ensure, “the Korean War will forever be remembered.”

She said, “It is our duty to do everything we can to recognize and honour the sacrifices made by all who served in the Korean War.”

I couldn’t agree more; on July 27, I ask you to join Senator Martin, myself, and Canadians everywhere in saluting our Korean War Veterans.


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