Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian soldiers thanked for keeping South Korea free

60th anniversary of end of Korean War

  • Print

If Canadian soldiers hadn't volunteered to fight in Korea 60 years ago, South Korea might have been mired in tyranny and poverty like the North.

That was the message Harry Lee, president of Winnipeg's Korean Seniors Association, had for the handful of veterans who gathered at Brookside Cemetery Saturday to mark to 60th anniversary of the ceasefire that ended the Korean War.

Lee, who got choked up as he remembered his boyhood on the front lines of the war, said he would have grown up starving, sleeping on a mud floor instead of a warm bed, without basic human rights and living under a repressive regime were it not for Canadian soldiers. Instead, South Korea is a democracy and an economic powerhouse.

"This reality would be impossible (without) someone like you volunteering to sacrifice your own life to defend the South Korean territory," Lee told the vets.

Lee said he'd been separated from his parents during the war and survived thanks in part to the largesse of Canadian soldiers. He came to Canada about 15 years after the war's end.

At Saturday's ceremony, which included words from Mayor Sam Katz and MP Joy Smith, a large contingent of local Korean children dressed in traditional clothes helped veterans and their families carry candles for each Manitoban killed in the conflict.

The three-year Korean War ended July 27, 1953, after 516 Canadians had lost their lives. Winnipeg's Kapyong Barracks gets its name from a 1951 battle in which Canadian and Australian battalions, badly outmanned, managed to push back Chinese forces seeking a route through the Kapyong Valley and on to Seoul.

Winnipegger Dan Lafreniere was one of the young soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry sent in to relieve the troops after Kapyong. He was a 19-year-old railway worker when he joined up, and his brother followed him into the service. Lafreniere then became a medical officer's assistant, and stayed in Korea a few months after many of his buddies returned home.

"It was a lump-in-the-throat kind of thing," said Lafreniere of his buddies' departure. "The good memories you have overshadow any of the hardships."

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 28, 2013 A5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Body pulled from river is missing 15-year-old girl

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of the new Blue Bombers uniforms?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google