OTTAWA, July 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined by Senator Yonah Martin, today issued the following statement in recognition of the 60 th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice and the first annual Korean War Veterans Day. Both Minister Fantino and Senator Martin are in Seoul, Korea with a delegation of Canadian Korean War Veterans to participate in commemorative events organized by both Canada and the Republic of Korea. "Thousands of brave Canadians fought tirelessly during the Korean War to restore peace, freedom, democracy and the rule of law to South Korea," said Minister Fantino. "Our government is honouring these great Canadians by declaring 2013 as the Year of the Korean War Veteran and encouraging Canadians to remember their dedicated service and sacrifice. Sixty years ago, on July 27, 1953, the active fighting of the Korean War ended with the signing of the Korean War Armistice. More than 26,000 Canadians served gallantly to defend South Korea from oppression and tyranny with approximately 7,000 Canadians remaining in Korea until the end of 1955 and some Canadian troops serving until 1957. Victory came at a heavy cost: 516 Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in the defence of these noble and truly Canadian principles. This year on July 27th, Canadians will pause to remember Veterans of the Korean War on a new national day of recognition—Korean War Veterans Day. At events clear across the country today, Canadians are gathering to pay tribute, to remember and to express their thanks—and with good cause. "The sacrifices made by Canadian Veterans who went to help South Korea solidified Canada's reputation as a country that is ready to respond to a call to fight injustice and repression suffered by other peoples," said Minister Fantino. "We will not forget their service to the common good." "We are proud that our Government has passed legislation to create a Korean War Veterans Day which will serve as a lasting reminder of the great service and sacrifices of Canadian Korean War Veterans," said Senator Martin. "The efforts and sacrifices of Canadian Korean War Veterans assisted in the rebirth of the Republic of Korea. In 60 years, South Korea has become a flourishing economic and political force; a modern, democratic, peace-seeking member of the United Nations. Today, we recognize the tradition of freedom they fought to preserve." 2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to defend the Republic of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on Canada's role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca.