Veterans reflect on Korean War, 60 years later
Ceremony at Alberta legislature marked 60th anniversary of armistice
A service was held at the Alberta legislature grounds on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire of the Korean War and honour the soldiers who served.
The three-year conflict started in 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. Of the 26,000 Canadian soldiers who helped the south, 516 were killed in battle.
Although awareness has grown about the role played by the Canadians, the conflict has been dubbed the Forgotten War for how little was known.
"When we came back from Korea, nobody even knew that we were in Korea and there was no welcoming committee," said Gord Carter, who served in Korea from 1952 to 1953.
"You just got off the train at your stop."
Only 19 at the time, Carter faced some harrowing moments.
"It was long, cold and terrifying at times," he said.
"Those artillery shells are exploding all around you. The concussion, the noise, the shrapnel is flying and you’re just praying you’re going to survive."
Albert MacBride, 82, drove a Sherman tank for the Canadian military from 1951 to 1952.
For MacBride, the war brings back unpleasant memories of rats, old equipment and the death of three close friends.
"I’ve seen their graves and I don’t want to remember anymore," he said. "Too hard."
The fact that the conflict is now being remembered comes too late for the veterans who have died, MacBride said.
"Took us 35 years to get a pension," MacBride said. "They’re treating us well now. Half my friends are gone. Never got nothing."