On this day we remember why the peace and freedom we enjoy in this country is so precious—why we must never forget the debt we owe the brave men and women who have served our country. They also remind us of the price paid by so many young men and women who came from cities and towns, large and small, to deliver hope to troubled regions around the world.
National Peacekeepers’ Day was established in Canada in 2008. It provides an opportunity for Canadians to express the pride and respect they have toward personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and provincial and municipal police forces, as well as Canadian diplomats and civilians who have worked in support of international peace and security operations.
More than 125,000 Canadian peacekeepers have participated in dozens of international efforts over the past six decades in countries all over the world. August 9th was selected as National Peacekeepers’ Day to recognize the greatest single loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission, which occurred on that date in 1974. All nine Canadian peacekeepers who were on a United Nations-marked Canadian transport aircraft were killed when their plane was shot down by Syrian missiles during a regular resupply mission in the Middle East. It was the largest single-day loss of Canadian Armed Forces personnel in a peace support operation.
Canada has helped provide instrumental support to restore peace and security in areas devastated by conflict. Our peacekeepers play a vital and significant role in achieving these objectives while demonstrating compassion and courage. By marking this day, we can celebrate and express our gratitude to these men and women.
Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces personnel who have served in various peace support efforts will gather at events across the country to honour their comrades. A national ceremony is held each year in Ottawa at the Peacekeeping Monument on the Sunday closest to August 9. It is organized by the local chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Join us in Queen Elizabeth Park around the square in the Newcastle Downtown on Tuesday August 9th at 11 am as we pay tribute to our Peacekeepers.