Gateway Gazette

Monument to Canadian Fallen

The Monument to Canadian Fallen commemorates the sacrifice of Canadian service members in the Korean War.

Sacrifice remembered

The Monument to Canadian Fallen was spearheaded by the Canadian Veterans Korean War Commemoration Committee. It was unveiled at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan in 2001 and dedicated and consecrated in 2002. The monument design calls to mind the sacrifice of Canada and Canadian soldiers.

Veteran designer

It was designed by Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Korean War Veteran Vincent Courtenay, who managed the fund-raising effort from Korea and also supervised sculpting, casting and placement of the Monument. A replica of the Monument was erected in Ottawa and dedicated on September 28, 2003.

Symbol of friendship

The monument shows an unarmed Canadian soldier holding a young Korean girl and guiding a Korean boy. The children represent the generations of Koreans who live in freedom thanks to those who served and those who made the supreme sacrifice. The girl is holding a bouquet of 21 maple leaves, representing the 16 Canadians with no known grave and the five Canadian sailors lost at sea. The boy is holding a bouquet in which maple leaves are mixed with roses of Sharon, the national flower of Korea, as a symbol of the friendship between the two countries.

Never to be forgotten

The monument bears the inscription “We’ll never forget you brave sons of Canada” in English, French and Korean, along with the names of the 516 Canadian soldiers who died during the Korean War. 

The Korean War started on 25 June 1950, when North Korean troops invaded South Korea. United Nations forces soon joined the fighting, which would rage until an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. More than 26,000 Canadians served on land, at sea and in the air during this bitter conflict. Sadly, 516 Canadians died. Long seen as a forgotten war, the Korean War is now recognized as an important chapter in Canada’s military history.

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