McGuinty Government Honours Those Who Serve The Cause Of Peace
August 9 Proclaimed As Peacekeepers' Day
TORONTO -- The Ontario government is honouring those Canadians who have served the cause of peace by designating August 9 as Peacekeepers' Day, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced today.
"Peacekeeping is a fundamental part of our national heritage," said Bryant. "For over 50 years, many Ontarians have sacrificed their lives for peace. Many others carry the physical and mental wounds from service in areas of strife and conflict. We are proud to recognize their commitment and sacrifice."
"On behalf of all Canadian peacekeepers, I want to thank the government of Ontario for this recognition," said retired Major-General Lewis MacKenzie. "We hope Peacekeepers' Day will remind people of the sacrifice paid by military service men and women, police and civilians who have earned the gratitude of many nations for putting their lives at risk to help maintain peace."
The date of August 9 was chosen to commemorate the day in 1974 when Canada suffered its worst one-day peacekeeping loss. Nine peacekeepers were killed when their plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over Lebanon.
"In a day and age when we look for true heroes, we need look no further than our peacekeepers," Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter said. "Ontarians can take special pride in the contributions made by Ontario's law enforcement officers, who have served in United Nations civil policing missions."
"Next week, on Remembrance Day, Ontarians will remember the brave men and women who made the supreme sacrifice in defence of freedom. Beginning next August, on Peacekeepers' Day, Ontarians will remember all those who have served in the ongoing defence of peace," said Bryant.