Last Thursday, Toronto Consul General Kevin Johnson, visited the Veterans Centre to hand out Certificates of Appreciation from the U.S. Department of Defense to Sunnybrook’s Korean War veterans.
Consul General Johnson spoke about time he’s spent in veterans centres visiting his father, a WW2 veteran.
He also spoke about how special the Canadian and American relationship was, calling it the “the best friendship in the world."
Consul General Johnson then handed out each certificate personally to the vets, some in wheelchairs, others still spry and able to stand at attention, as well as giving them pins with the Canadian and American flags waving side by side.
The certificates, signed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, recognize the veterans for their service during the Korean War in defense of democracy and freedom, and state that their selfless sacrifice halted the tide of communism on the Korean Peninsula. In total there are fifteen veterans living at Sunnybrook who served in the Korean conflict.
Many of the veterans had family on hand for the event and after a group picture was taken, the Consul General was treated to an impromptu tour of the facility by one of the veterans, Douglas Scott. The centre is the largest veterans care facility in Canada provides specialized, compassionate, resident-centred health care through a dedicated interprofessional team as well as providing a wealth of recreation and creative arts therapy programs. It even has its own barbershop, library, games room, photography studio and a veterans therapeutic garden. A similar ceremony of the U.S. honouring Canadian Korean War veterans was held in Vancouver last November.