Help us remember Canada’s Fallen Peacekeepers and Peacemakers
Since 1948, Canada has provided Peacekeeping soldiers for service around the world to support the United Nations in its efforts to help bring peace to troubled lands. The Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP) was established in 1986 to honour fallen Canadian Peacekeepers and to support the families of those who willingly offered the supreme sacrifice.
Canadians have served on dozens of Peace Support Operations including Peace Enforcement, Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, Humanitarian and Reconstruction operations, as well as Observer Missions in countries and disputed territories around the world, including Korea, the Congo, Cyprus, Bosnia, Croatia, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, Haiti, the Central African Republic, Vietnam, Rwanda, and many others. During these many missions, 323 Canadian military and External Affairs personnel have given their lives in the service of international peace, including 158 of our bravest during the Afghanistan Intervention.
On the 9th of August 1974, during the United Nations Emergency Force Middle East (UNEFME) peace support mission in Egypt, while on a routine mission to Damascus, the Canadian Buffalo aircraft # 115461 was shot down by Syrian Armed Forces, killing all 9 Canadian military personnel on board (The Buffalo Nine). The Syrians claimed it was an accident, that their radar had mistakenly shown the airplane to be an enemy Israeli aircraft. During over 65 years of U.N. International Peace Support operations, this was the single largest loss of life that has occurred in any one incident during which Canadian soldiers have been involved.
The Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-287, “An Act Respecting a National Peacekeepers’ Day” in 2008; each year on or about the 9th of August, we remember those who have fallen in the service of peace, give thanks to those families and friends who supported our peacekeepers and honour those who have been decorated for bravery and sacrifice. The Calgary Chapter of CAVUNP holds a Commemorative Service on the Sunday closest to August 9th, during which we also solemnly honour the Memorial Cross Families of those fallen Peacekeepers whose names will forever be engraved upon the Wall of Honour at Calgary’s Peacekeeper and Buffalo Parks.