We'll Never Forget Those Hills
Ottawa - May 2, 2013
Last week, I had the honour of accompanying 36 Canadian Veterans of the Korean War who marked its 60th anniversary by returning to the battlefields on which they fought. These Veterans were invited by the Republic of Korea to show its appreciation to their valiant efforts that helped liberate the country in the fifties. Today, the Republic of Korea is a thriving world economy, thanks to the undertaking of these Veterans. To say that our five-day journey was an emotional one is an understatement. It was also very informative, and I am glad to have been part of the journey.
The Canadian contribution in Korea consisted of over 26,000 troops and support personnel. The ultimate contribution and sacrifice came from 516 Canadians, whose names are inscribed in the Book of Remembrance of the Korean War. These people gave their lives so that the Republic of Korea could survive and prosper.
At times, it was overwhelming for me to stand beside our Veterans and hear their recollection of what had happened there. But above all, it made me understand what they mean when they say “we’ll never forget those hills”. And, we must not forget the commitment that these men and women made to restore the peace.
In line with my Office’s One Veteran theme, we must also ensure that those Canadians who chose to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP and who now suffer because of their service have access to the support they need. My team’s responsibility is to ensure that the Government of Canada honours their commitment to meet the needs of these Veterans, no matter where and when they served.
Lest we forget.
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