On June 25, 1950, the forces of North Korea crossed the 38th Parallel into the Republic of Korea. This marked the beginning of hostilities in the country known to its people as the Land of the Morning Calm.
Altogether, more than 26,000 Canadians served in the Korean War, and another 7,000 served between the signing of the Armistice and the end of 1955. In proportion to its population, Canada's troop contribution was one of the largest of the international force. The 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade played a crucial role on land, together with Commonwealth and allied forces, while vessels of the Royal Canadian Navy served at sea and elements of the Royal Canadian Air Force supported the military operation in the skies above Korea. The Canadian casualties numbered over 1,500, including 516 who lost their lives and whose names are inscribed in the Korean War Book of Remembrance.
Notably, Canadians fought at Kapyong, at Chail-li, in the advance across the Imjin River, and in the patrolling of the Chorwon Plain. At the Battle of Kapyong, Canadians maintained their vital position on Hill 677, one of our most notable achievements during the war, while at the same time inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. For their gallant stand at Kapyong, the 2nd Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry received the United States Presidential Citation.
The Korea Armistice Agreement was signed at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953, ending three years of fighting. The truce which followed was uneasy and Korea has remained a divided country.
Canada's contribution in the Korean War marked a new stage in the country's development as a nation. Canadian action in Korea was followed by peacekeeping operations around the world.