National Peacekeepers’ Day

Serving and retired CAF members, many wearing the traditional blue beret associated with UN peacekeeping missions, gather for the ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of National Peacekeepers’ Day in 2018. This year’s ceremony is set for August 9.

Peacekeepers to be honoured in ceremony

By Trident Staff,
with files from CPO2 Ben Broome

On National Peacekeepers Day, Friday, August 9, a ceremony at 11 a.m. at the World Peace Pavilion in Dartmouth will honour CAF peacekeepers.

Guests of honour will include His Honour the Honourable Arthur LeBlanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, and her Honour Mrs. Patsy LeBlanc.

The ceremony will include a colour party, the National Anthem, the Act of Remembrance, readings, several speakers, and wreath laying.

Among other guests will be  Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax; MLAs Susan Leblanc and Claudia Chender; His Worship, Mayor Mike Savage; Superintendent Jason Popik of the RCMP; Steinar Engeset, Convoy Cup founder; and representatives of the RCN, Halifax Regional Police, and the Royal Canadian Legion Nunavut Command.

On December 11, 2002, the UN General assembly designated May 29 as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This day was first observed in 2003. The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is a tribute to people who serve or have served in UN peacekeeping operations.

The National Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established in Canada in 2008 to provide Canadians an opportunity to express the pride and respect they have toward personnel of the CAF, the RCMP, and provincial and municipal police forces, as well as to Canadian diplomats and civilians who have worked in support of international peace and security operations.

August 9 was selected as National Peacekeepers’ Day in Canada in 2008. This date was chosen to recognize the greatest single loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission, which occurred on that date in 1974 when all nine Canadian Peacekeepers who were onboard Buffalo 461, a United Nations-marked Canadian transport aircraft, were killed when their plane was shot down by three Syrian missiles during a regular resupply mission in the Middle East. It was the largest single-day loss of all nine passengers and crew during a peace support operation.

“My name is Ben Broome and I am a currently serving Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy in my 38th year, employed at HMC Dockyard with the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott an Fleet Technical Authority. In my civilian capacity I am the Provincial Representative of Nova Scotia for the Veterans UN NATO Group of Canada, and on behalf of the Veterans UN NATO, we will be hosting HRM’s National United Nations Peacekeepers Day ceremony

When I came to realize that Ken Jamieson and Karen Ewing in the community of Bass River could hold a ceremony at the Cobequid Veterans Memorial Park for the International Peacekeepers day in May each year, and Sydney, Cape Breton through the efforts of Michele Gardiner and others that enabled a cenotaph to be placed on their waterfront and hold a National Peacekeepers Day in August each year, it left me to wonder why HRM, with the largest contingent of RCMP and Military Peacekeepers, provincial police services and Canadian civilian diplomats who have worked in support of international peace and security operations in the province, did not have a tribute here in our city.

On August 9 at 11 a.m., we will honour the sacrifices of our fallen and remember their dedication by respecting the work our combined cities and communities throughout Nova Scotia have contributed to in supporting Canada’s peacekeeping duties.”