Canada marked the 70th anniversary of the Korean War in spite of the pandemic

Le Canada souligne le 70e anniversaire de la Guerre de Corée malgré la pandémie

Le Canada souligne le 70e anniversaire de la Guerre de Corée malgré la pandémie

Approximately 26,000 Canadians participated in the three-year conflict, which began on 25 June 1950, when forces of communist North Korea, supported by China and the soviet Union, invaded South Korea, supported by the United States.

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June 21, 2020 17: 05

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Canada marked the 70th anniversary of the Korean War in spite of the pandemic

Lee Berthiaume

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – wreaths of flowers were deposited and the voice of a single bugle call echoed near the Parliament building Sunday morning, during a modest ceremony celebrating the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

A small group of dignitaries, canadians and koreans attended the ceremony, in the company of a handful of veterans who have participated in the conflict.

It was the first ceremony of the kind since the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID-19. The ceremonies surrounding the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the netherlands during the Second world War and the Victory day in Europe, when nazi Germany was formally defeated, have been cancelled.

Several of the people who attended on Sunday the ceremony paying tribute to the Canadians who fought and lost their lives in Korea were wearing a mask. They stood as far away from each other to comply with social distancing.

“These are very important ceremonies,” said the president of the Association of veterans of the Korean War, Bill Black, who is 86 years old and who has served aboard a canadian destroyer during the war.

“Even if there are fewer people present and that we need to wear a mask, so be it. We’re not going to forget our soldiers, sailors and pilots in canada who fought for freedom. We are not going to allow to forget a day like this.”

Approximately 26,000 Canadians participated in the three-year conflict, which began on 25 June 1950, when forces of communist North Korea, supported by China and the soviet Union, invaded South Korea, supported by the United States.

A total of 516 Canadians lost their lives during the war, which ended in a stalemate that still persists today.

The Sunday ceremony would normally have taken place at the national war memorial, near the Parliament. Rather, it has occurred a little further on near Confederation park, where is located the Monument honouring the Canadians who died in service during the Korean War.

The official delegation had been limited to 10 people including the commander, lieutenant-general of the canadian armed Forces, Wayne Eyre, who most recently served as the deputy commander of united Nations forces in South Korea. Politicians, diplomats, Korean and veterans affairs were also part of the delegation.

Under a blue sky and despite the scorching heat, the spectators have paid tribute to the soldiers, while recalling the importance of the war, which is often called “the forgotten War” in the shadow of the Second world War and the Vietnam War.

The conservative mp Yonah Martin, whose father was separated from his family when he was a child during the war, recalled the importance of the ceremony.

“We would not have organized the ceremony if the veterans had not wanted to, but they insisted. They have experienced difficult times and this is something that’s important to them,” said Mr. Martin, the first canadian-Korean in Parliament.

Le Soleil

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