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Facing off in Korea

Canadian soldiers playing hockey on the Imjin River during the Korean War.
Photo: LAC PA-184478

Gandy the dog

Woof! You’ll never guess what I found for my special object for the Heritage Fair…a hockey puck from the Korean War! Believe it or not, Canadian soldiers played hockey during the conflict.

You see, the fighting lasted three long years from 1950 to 1953. Life was hard for the more than 26,000 Canadians who served there. Our men had to face tough battles, but they also spent a lot of time watching and waiting outdoors through all kinds of weather—even during the winters that could be as cold as ours in Canada! Brrr. That might be why the soldiers decided to play hockey on the frozen Imjin River when they were not on duty. I bet playing the good old Canadian game helped them warm up and feel a little less homesick.

July 27, 2018, marked 65 years since an agreement was signed to stop the fighting there. Korea remains divided today, however, as North and South Korea. Earlier this year, the world witnessed how sport can bring people together when the two countries competed as one team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. That is why this puck is more than a symbol of remembrance for me… it is also a hope for peace.

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