Premier David Eby has issued the following statement marking Korean War Veterans Day:
“Seventy years ago, on July 27, 1953, an armistice was signed that ceased hostilities, bringing an end to the Korean War.
“Today, on Korean War Veterans Day, we remember and honour the more than 26,000 Canadians who defended South Korea against a totalitarian invader on land, at sea and in the air.
“North Korean troops started the war with an invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950. This act of aggression was answered by Canada and other allied United Nations members in defence of the sovereignty of a peaceful neighbour.
“Canadian forces, who endured gruelling and terrible conditions throughout the war, showed tremendous bravery during the conflict, including at the Battles of Hill 355 and Hill 187. During the Battle of Kapyong, a battalion of about 700 Canadian troops withheld an assault by about 5,000 Chinese soldiers. The determined stand by the Canadians halted an enemy offensive, which threatened the South Korean capital Seoul.
“During the war, more than 1,000 Canadians were wounded, while 516 others never returned home to their families. On this day, we also reflect on those who returned home with battle scars, both visible and unseen.
“In the years following the armistice, approximately 7,000 Canadians served as peacekeepers on the Korean peninsula. Their presence helped forge the warm bonds that exist between Canada and South Korea to this day.
“A conflict once regarded as ‘the forgotten war’ is an important part of Canada’s history, as we came to the aid of a country and its citizenry threatened by an aggressive neighbour.
“With each passing year, the roll of surviving veterans of this war gets shorter. It is our duty to remember their service and their sacrifice, and to acknowledge the importance of an international order in which aggression is challenged, and a peaceful resolution to conflict is sought.”