Hundreds gathered in the southwest over the lunch hour on Sunday in honour of Peacekeepers Day which falls on August 9th every year.
This years event was the 14th annual edition in Calgary, held at Peacekeeper’s Park in Garrison Green and Buffalo Park just a few blocks away.
Rick Wright, VP of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping says holding a ceremony is a vital part of remembering the work that Canadian Peacekeepers have done and the over 300 who have been killed while on duty.
“We felt that we needed to hold some sort of a ceremony to remember the 323 names that are reach out. That’s why it’s important, is just to remind people that we’ve lost 323 people just while on peace support operations from 1956 on.”
Wright adds that it’s also important to come together for the families of those who have been killed as well as men and women who have PTSD as he says it helps in their healing.
August 9th commemorates the same day back in 1974, when nine Canadian peacekeepers were killed after their aircraft was shot down over Syria.
On the Saturday before the event the Minister of Veterans Affairs’ office tweeted out a statement asking Pokemon Go players to respect monuments and war memorials.
When asked by reporters, Wright said it’s disappointing to see people playing the game at these places.”
“The programmers in Japan have no concept that some of the places where they’re putting these grid references for the Pokemon Go people to be. You don’t hide a Pokemon Go creature behind a monument.”
He adds that it’s also in part, of a lack of education about these places.