BY ANDREW SMITH
LISTOWEL – Jeston “Buddy” Brennan will never forget his involvement in the Korean War, and thanks to services held across Canada, the country will always remember with him.
Brennan joined other members of the Royal Canadian Legion Listowel branch in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice on Sunday, Aug. 11, which brought an end to the conflict between South and North Korea on July 27, 1953.
“It’s a day of remembrance we’ll never forget,” Brennan said.
The Listowel ceremony included a parade from the Legion to the cenotaph, where wreaths were laid in memory of the hundreds of Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the Korean War. In total, 516 Canadians were killed during the war, making it the third deadliest conflict in Canadian history. As an organizer of past events, Brennan was appreciative of the effort from the Royal Canadian Legion to support the Korean veterans.
“I know the effort they put into it and the support we’ve got from everybody is terrific, it’s outstanding as far as I’m concerned,” Brennan said.
The sentiment was echoed by Korean Veterans Association regional president Jack Reinhold, who expressed his appreciation for services organized across the country, especially in a community as small as Listowel.
“The Legion branches, this one especially, have shown us a great deal of response for Korean veterans, and we’re very grateful for it,” he said.
The Korean War has long been referred to as the forgotten war. Reinhold said soldiers who served in the war weren’t recognized in Canada for more than 20 years, something he experienced when he returned home from the war. However, soldiers have always been remembered by residents of South Korea for the role they played in assisting the country.
“The Koreans have always been very, very good to us, they really appreciate everything we’ve done for them, and we now appreciate everything they do for us,” Reinhold said. “They’ve done nothing but show their appreciation for us, and we really appreciate them.”
Reinhold said that appreciation is growing in Canada, thanks in part to the number of Korean immigrants coming to the country and highlighting how Canadian soldiers helped South Korea get back on its feet.
“The country was in shambles, it was terribly poor,” he said. “Now there’s more skyscrapers than you can believe, the country is in very good shape. I’m so happy they’ve been able to recover like they have.”