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Remarks on the Occasion of Korea War Veterans Day Delivered July 27, 2013 Lethbridge, Alberta
HONOURED VETERANS OF THE KOREAN WAR AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS, MEMBERS OF THE CANADIAN FORCES, DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU. BOTH FOR YOUR WELCOME, AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE WITH YOU TODAY AS YOUR ALBERTA ELECTED SENATOR. ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, I AM HERE WITH YOU TODAY TO REMEMBER AND PAY TRIBUTE TO THE MORE THAN 26,000 CANADIANS WHO DISTINGUISHED THEMSELVES IN THE KOREA WAR, AND ESPECIALLY THE 516 WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE IN THE NAME OF HUMAN FREEDOM. I ALSO RECOGNIZE THE MORE THAN 7,000 WHO SERVED AS UN PEACEKEEPERS, THOUGH TENSIONS LINGERED AND HOSTILITIES OCCASIONALLY ERUPTED EVEN AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE ARMISTICE. MAY I ALSO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO SERGEANT JOHN GOGO WHO IS PRESENT TODAY. JOHN SERVED IN THE KOREAN WAR WITH THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES BEFORE ENTERING PROVINCIAL POLITICS. IT IS CANADIANS SUCH AS HE WHO MAKE US PROUD OF OUR COUNTRY, AND I WOULD LIKE TO PERSONALLY THANK HIM FOR HIS INVALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS BOTH IN THE MILITARY AND TO ALBERTA POLITICS. 2013 HAS BEEN DECLARED "YEAR OF THE KOREAN WAR VETERAN" TO COMMEMORATE THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE KOREAN WAR ARMISTICE. ANNIVERSARIES PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REFLECTION -- AND THIS IS A WAR WORTHY OF REMEMBRANCE. ALTHOUGH IN 1950 OUR NATION WAS WEARY OF WAR, CANADIANS FOUGHT HEROICALLY IN KOREA. EACH SERVICE MEMBER HAS HIS OWN STORY TO TELL, AND SOME STORIES MUST BE TOLD FOR THOSE WHO DID NOT MAKE IT HOME. OCCASIONS SUCH AS TODAY REMIND US THAT FREEDOM IS VERY RARELY FREE.
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The Honourable Douglas Black, QC, Senator
IN KOREA, MANY YOUNG CANADIAN MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES PAID A VERY HIGH PRICE TO SECURE IT FOR OTHERS. WHETHER WE ARE KOREAN OR CANADIAN, WE ARE ALL FATHERS, MOTHERS, SONS, DAUGHTERS, BROTHERS, AND SISTERS. WE ALL SEEK PEACE, HEALTH, AND HAPPINESS FOR OUR FAMILIES. AS IN THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN, OUR ACTIONS, NOT OUR ETHNICITY, IS WHAT DEFINES US AS NEIGHBOURS. FOLLOWING THE WAR, MANY CANADIANS DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE EXTENT OF THE SACRIFICE THAT WAS MADE BY THOSE WHO SERVED. NOR COULD WE UNDERSTAND AT THAT TIME HOW IMPORTANT THE WAR WAS TO PROTECT THE FUTURE OF SOUTH KOREA. THE SERVICE OF OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FALLEN COMRADES REPRESENTS AN ENDURING CONTRIBUTION TO THE PEOPLE OF KOREA. ALTHOUGH ONCE ONE OF THE POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD, TODAY KOREA IS A SUCCESSFUL AND VIBRANT SOCIETY, WITH A PROSPEROUS ECONOMY, A STRONG DEMOCRACY, AND A FRIEND AND ALLY OF CANADA. FEW KNOW THIS AS WELL AS MY SENATE COLLEAGUE, B.C. SENATOR YONAH MARTIN, WHO IMMIGRATED TO CANADA FROM SOUTH KOREA AT AN EARLY AGE AND WHO HAS BEEN A VOCAL ADVOCATE FOR OUR COUNTRY’S KOREA WAR VETERANS. IT WAS THROUGH HER EFFORTS, WHAT SHE CALLS A LABOUR OF LOVE, THAT HER PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILL S-213 RECEIVED ROYAL ASSENT ON JUNE 19TH, TO DESIGNATE TODAY, JULY 27TH IN PERPETUITY, BY CANADIAN LAW, "KOREAN WAR VETERANS DAY". IN CLOSING, HONOURED VETERANS, TODAY CANADIANS AND SUPPORTERS OF FREEDOM AROUND THE WORLD REALIZE THAT WE OWE MORE TO YOU THAN ANYONE UNDERSTOOD 60 YEARS AGO. LEST WE FORGET. THANK YOU.
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The Honourable Douglas Black, QC, Senator
Doug Black is confident in the promise of Alberta and Canada. He placed strongly in first position in the 2012 Alberta Senate Nominee Election, and was appointed to the Senate on January 25, 2013. Senator Black serves on the National Finance and Banking, Trade and Commerce committees. Senator Black is Senior Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP, a global law firm. He studied at the University of Alberta, and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax. Senator Black was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002 and was named as one of Canada’s 25 most influential lawyers for 2012 by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Senator Black is deeply involved in his community, and was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 in recognition of his many contributions. He served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary, where he guided the development of the bold and ambitious Eyes High strategy to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016. Senator Black is Governor Emeritus of the Banff Centre , Alberta’s nationally and internationally renowned centre of excellence in creativity and the arts, and was National Co-Chair of the Centre’s successful $128 million campus revitalization campaign. He has served as Chair of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which equips disadvantaged youth with the tools to ignite change in their communities through the arts. Senator Black was also the Founder of Lake Crest School in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Senator Black has been a long-time proponent for responsible energy development and an advocate for diversifying Canada’s energy markets. He was founding president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the development of a Canadian energy framework. Senator Black lives in Alberta with his wife Linda, and they have two adult children. Together, Senator Black and his wife are active swimmers, cyclists, and supporters of the arts. Abridged version: Senator Black was appointed to the Senate on January 25, 2013, and serves on the National Finance and Banking, Trade and Commerce committees. He is Senior Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002. Deeply involved in his community, Senator Black was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 in recognition of his many contributions. He has served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary, Chair of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, is Governor Emeritus of the Banff Centre, and was Founder of Lake Crest School in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Senator Black was founding president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the development of a Canadian energy framework. He lives in Alberta with his wife Linda, and they have two adult children.
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