Peacekeeping

   
 


 

 

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BERET OF BLUE

He is young and strong

and time will seem long

while he does what he has to do

 

He was trained to fight

But he won't use that right

When wearing a beret of Blue

 

It doesn't make sense

On his side of the fence

To play a role he did not choose

 

When out on patrol

he must keep control

with a gun he cannot use

 

He is some mothers son

and not much can be done

Except pray he'll come through

 

As he does his best

To survive the test

And bring home his Beret of Blue

By Jim McMillan-Murphy

 

Peacekeeping Missions

In 1957, Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for his vision of an international peacekeeping force, under the direction of the United Nations. Pearson said, "We need action not only to end the fighting, but to make peace.. my own government would be glad to recommend Canadian participation in such a United Nations force, a truly international peace and police force."  These words are now inscribed on Canada's Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa.

Since that time, Canada has been involved in fifty missions, more than any other country.  Irish author Kevin Myers says it best in his piece Salute to a Brave and Modest Nation, "one percent of the world's population has provided ten percent of the world's peacekeeping forces".

Our peacekeeping role is a sense of pride for most Canadians... so much so that the Canadian ten dollar bill features peacekeepers on the note, and a peacekeeping monument to our troops stands in our capital city.  We are the only nation to have such a monument, dedicated to peacekeepers.

The role of peacekeeper, however, is not without danger.  Even before the Aghanistan conflict, Canada lost over 120 military personnel on peace keeping missions around the globe.  In 2008, the 100th fatality of the Aghanistan mission came home.  Peacekeeping is a role that we take great pride in, but can also be a dangerous one.  Our peacekeepers are among the world's best and most well respected, and this page is dedicated to some of the missions Canadians have undertaken to ensure the safety and security of those around the world.


Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal

The Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal was created to honour all Canadians, including military personnel past and present, who have contributed to peace on specific missions. Although the majority of peacekeepers are military personnel, some civilians such as members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or diplomatic representatives, have also contributed to a few missions.

On one side of the medal are three Canadian soldiers, with a dove flying above them.  The medal shows the words "CANADA" and "PEACEKEEPING", along with two maple leafs.  The cypher of Her Majesty the Queen and laurel leaves are also on the medal.

The ribbon consists of four colours; red, white, green and blue.  Green represents volunteerism, while the red and white symbolize the colours of Canada's flag.  The red also represents the blood shed by Canada's peace keepers over the past 50 plus years, and the blue is representative of the United Nations.




 
 

 

 
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