The Korean War Gapyeong Battle Victory monument was presented to the City of Airdrie on July 4 during their regularly scheduled meeting. It will be placed at the site of the Airdrie Cenotaph next spring.
The Korean War Commemorative Committee (KWCC) and the Airdrie Legion (Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 288) officials met with the administration and Mayor Peter Brown on May 6 to discuss their plan to provide a monument that would honour the battle, which was a significant part of the Korean War The soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry persevered in the face of great adversity to help prevent a potentially costly defeat for the South Korean and UN forces.
After that, in order to meet the project's application deadlines, KWCC asked the Airdrie City Council for a letter of support. Council overwhelmingly approved the request at its regular meeting on May 16th.
On the July 4th meeting council was presented with three alternatives for what was next on the “to do” list:
1. Council could choose to endorse the recommendation of the Community Services Advisory Board to accept the Korean War Gapyeong Battle Victory Monument as a gift to the City of Airdrie.
2. Council could choose to approve the site installation location at the Airdrie Cenotaph.
3. Council could choose to not accept the gift and staff would cease work on this project.
In the end, council endorsed the recommendation of the Community Services Advisory Board to accept the Korean Gapyeong battle Victory Monument as a gift to the city of Airdrie, and approved the Airdrie cenotaph site as the location for the installation of the Korean Gapyeong battle Victory Monument and directed administration to return to council with options for the site and financial implications.
The stone for the Gapyeong Monument is mined and transported from the region where the key battles were fought to successful bid locations by the Government of South Korea. The first monument was installed in Winnipeg followed by Langley, Brampton and Niagara Falls. Acceptance of gifts from foreign governments is a gesture of friendship, cultural cooperation, and historical significance.
The proposed granite memorial stone would be one to 1.5 metres broad, 70 to 85 centimetres thick, 3.7 to 4 metres tall (totalling 10 to 15 feet with a pedestal), and weigh nine to ten tonnes.
KWCC is providing about $90,000 to the municipality to bring the monument.
The monument's tentative unveiling and celebration are set for June 24, 2023.
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