Remembering the Battle of Kapyong
It sounds like a story straight out of Hollywood – but it’s real and worth remembering. 65 years have now passed since Canada led one of the world’s greatest military triumphs: The Battle of Kapyong during the Korean War.
You could be forgiven if this sounds unfamiliar as it isn’t often discussed in the same breath as Vimy Ridge or Juno Beach. Kapyong, however, has been described as one of the most perfectly fought defensive battles in history. And is another defining moment in our country’s proud history.
On April 24, 1951, 700 Canadian troops of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) engaged in 24 hours of hand-to-hand fighting against 5000 enemy soldiers from which they ultimately emerged victorious.
Surrounded at times without food, water and ammunition, Canadian soldiers overcame insurmountable odds by holding off fresh Chinese reinforcements. Canada’s stand at Kapyong was a key factor in the stalling of the Communist offensive in South Korea.
The battle of Kapyong serves as a symbol of incredible bravery and stands as a timeless memorial to the strength of the Canadian nation.
I have always been grateful to the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces; from the trenches of the Western Front during the Great War, to the liberation of Europe in World War II, to Kapyong and Afghanistan and more.
I am grateful for their strength, courage and sacrifice, and for the freedoms they fought so hard to preserve. It is something we must never take for granted and something we must always remember. It is our responsibility to those who, on our behalf, experienced hardship and sacrificed so much.
So please take a moment to learn more about Canada’s military heritage, and the women and men who have helped make our country the true north, strong and free.
Greg Lawrence is the MLA for Moose Jaw Wakamow and serves as Saskatchewan Military Liaison, the Saskatchewan Party government's main contact with the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces in Saskatchewan