BATTLE OF KAPYONG
It is my honour to rise today, to pay tribute to a remarkable group of more than 32,000 Canadians who served in the Korean War and during the tense peacekeeping years following the signing of the amistice.
As the daughter of two survivors of the Korean War, my family remembers the Canadians who arrived on the shores of the Korean peninsula to defend the people from Communist forces of the North. .
We remember their courage and dedicated service.
We remember the thousands of Canadian inflicted with battle wounds and scars of the Korean War.
And we remember the 516 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Canada’s Veterans of the Korean War deserve our utmost gratitude and respect. And all Honourable Senators, we paid them their due respect with passage of Bill S-213, Korean War Veterans Day Act. The Bill has been passed unanimously at committee today and will be sent back to the HOC tomorrow to await 3rd reading.
Today, we are also reminded of the on-going civil war as North Korea recently voided the armistice agreement that had ended the hostilities on July 27, 1953. The war is certainly not over and we watch with concern and hope.
Minister Steven Blaney declared 2013 as the Year of the Korean War Veteran to mark the 60th anniversary of the Armistice.
That is why Certificates of Recognition to Canada’s remaining Veterans of the Korean War are being awarded this year. That is also why our Government partnered with the Republic of Korea in supporting 36 Korean War veterans to participate in the most recent Revisit Korea Program, organized by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs for the 62nd anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong (April 23-25).
It is well known that the Battle of Kapyong was a key milestone in the Korean War.
Despite being badly outnumbered . . . despite facing a withering assault and eventually being surrounded . . . the Canadians dug into Hill 677 and held their ground, protecting a vital route south to Seoul.
What’s more, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) used precision mortar and machine-gun fire to inflict such heavy casualties on the enemy that it helped stall the spring offensive.
The Battle of Kapyong certainly changed the course of the war. And, our Government is proud to remember these Canadian heroes who prevailed against all odds.
Lest we forget.