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Canadian Veterans And Minister Blaney Share Emotional Visit To Republic Of Korea

OTTAWA, April 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Veterans, along with the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, arrived home in Canada after a five-day journey of remembrance in the Republic of Korea where they marked the 60 th anniversary of the Korean War. Through a partnership between the Republic of Korea and Veterans Affairs Canada, the trip recognizes the contributions of all Veterans who came to the aid of the people of South Korea more than 60 years ago.

"For many of the Veterans, this was their first time returning to their former battlegrounds," said Minister Blaney. "The trip was solemn but a powerful reminder of what our brave men and women accomplished and sacrificed for all of us. This was an excellent way to pay tribute to Canadian Veterans of the Korean War who came to the aid of South Korean."

While in the Republic of Korea, the contingent participated in ceremonies of remembrance at the Canadian Korean War Memorial Garden in Naechon, and at the Republic of Korea War Memorial in honour of ANZAC Day.

They also visited the Demilitarized Zone, Observation Point Dora, Observation Point Sang Seung and Busan.

"It was an honour to be a part of this journey back to the Republic of Korea with fellow Veterans from Canada," said Mr. Robert William MacDonald, Veteran of the Korean War. "It was an emotional visit but I was truly pleased to see the tremendous progress of the country and its people."

"More than 26,000 Canadians served in what has been called, for too long, the forgotten war," said Minister Blaney. "For Canada, the cost of this service was high with 516 Canadians making the ultimate sacrifice. The visit to Korea was another opportunity to honour the legacy of Canadian Veterans of the Korean War as we mark 2013 as the Year of the Korea War Veteran."

The Korean War began in June 25, 1950, when North Korean forces invaded South Korea, beginning hostilities that lasted more than three years. Canada joined 15 other United Nations countries in sending combat forces to try to restore peace. The active fighting finally ended with the signing of the Armistice at Panmunjorn on July 27, 1953. Following the Armistice, approximately 7,000 Canadians continued to serve in Korea until the end of 1955, with some troops remaining until 1957.

2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca , visit our Facebook "Canada Remembers" page to leave a message of remembrance or follow us on Twitter @VeteransENG_CA.

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