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While the International Day of United National Peacekeepers is traditionally held on 29 May, Canadians prefer to commemorate Peacekeepers' Day on 9 August as it was on this day in 1974 that a Canadian Armed Forces Buffalo was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while making a supply flight from Beirut to Damascus. With nine Canadians killed - it marked the worst single-day loss in Canadian peacekeeping history. The province of British Columbia first proclaimed 9 August as 'Peacekeeping Memorial Day' by Order in Council 856 dated 30 June 1993. Fifteen years later, on 18 June 2008, Federal legislation (National Peacekeepers' Day Act, S.C. 2008, c. 27) officially recognized 9 August throughout Canada as 'National Peacekeepers' Day'. Shown in the photograph is a peacekeeping statue that was unveiled in 2006 on this annual day of remembrance in St. John's, Newfoundland, to honour all those men and women who served in UN and NATO peacekeeping missions since 1947 and in particular to those who have lost their lives. The statue depicting a peacekeeper about to release a dove was donated by the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
On this day, 9 August 2021, we commemorate the 13th anniversary of National Peacekeepers' Day, the 29th anniversary of British Columbia's Peacekeeping Memorial Day and mark the 15th anniversary of the unveiling of the Peacekeepers Memorial in St. John's, Newfoundland.
André M. Levesque