Author Topic: Korean War vets set to say last goodbyes in Winnipeg  (Read 1820 times)

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Korean War vets set to say last goodbyes in Winnipeg
« on: March 31, 2012, 10:49:22 PM »
Korean War vets set to say last goodbyes in Winnipeg

One big last hurrah for Canadian veterans of the Korean War is set for Winnipeg later this month.

With many who served in the war in the first half of the 1950s now getting well into their 80s, Korean Veterans Association of Canada president John Bishop said it’s important to hold one last event to bring together veterans from across Canada.

“It’s very likely the last significant chance Korean War veterans will have to see each other,” Bishop said.

The Last Hurrah will be held Aug. 28-31 at the Fairmont Hotel and will feature not only the national convention of the KVA, but a banquet, tours of the Manitoba Legislature and CFB Shilo, with plenty of opportunities for veterans and their families to reminisce. There will also be a screening of the American film “The Real MASH,” a documentary exploring the mobile hospitals made famous by the TV sitcom of the 1970s and ’80s.

Almost 27,000 Canadians served in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 and another 7,000 served from the calling of the ceasefire until the end of 1955. Five hundred and sixteen Canadian soldiers died in the war and another 1,400 were wounded.

Once called the “forgotten war,” Bishop said Korea veterans have been getting their due recently.

“Now we’re getting a great deal more publicity,” Bishop said. “After all, it is Canada’s third-bloodiest conflict (after the World Wars).”

Bishop served in Korea in 1950 and 1951 with the 2 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Bishop said he expects over 600 to attend the event in Winnipeg.

“We’ll all try to remember people from 60 years ago, talk to each other and enjoy ourselves,” Bishop said.

He said Winnipeg was chosen for its central location.

On July 27, the date in 1953 an armistice was signed, Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the KVA’s annual event at the association’s national wall of remembrance in Brampton, Ont.

Winnipegger John Gillis, who served with the 2 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Korea, will be master of ceremonies for The Last Hurrah.

“If we delay this kind of event, there won’t be any of us left,” Gillis said. “This is it.”
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