A rendering of the planned Korean War memorial at Derek Doubleday Arboretum. (tol.ca)

A rendering of the planned Korean War memorial at Derek Doubleday Arboretum. (tol.ca)

A walk to remember Canada’s soldiers at Derek Doubleday Arboretum

Organizers are fundraising for Korean War memorial

For Remembrance Day, an opportunity to walk and reflect on the sacrifice made by Canada’s veterans is being offered in the day leading up to the event at Derek Doubleday Arboretum (DDA).

Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley (ABSL) president Les Clay said this year marks “a number of milestones that we thought it would be fitting to recognize.”

READ ALSO: Canada’s Afghan war vets remembered

It’s been 10 years since the start of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, 10 years since the first memorial tree was planted in the arboretum by Langley Youth for the Fallen, 70 years since Canadian soldiers fought in the Battle of Kapyong Valley, and it’s also the 100th anniversary of the Legion’s poppy program.

READ ALSO: Sacrifices honoured at arbouretum’s Walk to Remember

As part of a “month to remember,” the ABSL is encouraging people to visit the arboretum, located at 21177 Fraser Hwy.just west of the airport, and stroll the walk to remember loop as they reflect on Canada’s involvement and lives lost in all of Canada’s military actions, not just the Afghanistan, Korean, and two World Wars.

“In conjunction with this month to remember, we are also doing a fundraiser for the ABSL as we would like to create a Korean style garden around the battle of Gaepyong stone,” Clay explained.

Placed at DDA in 2019, the stone was presented to Langley by Gapyeong county, South Korea, as a symbol of sacrifice, honour, and gratitude.

Canada’s most significant action of the Korean War, the battle of Kapyong (Gapyeong) in April of 1951 saw Canadian and United Nations soldiers hold back a major enemy offensive.

Ten Canadians were killed and 23 were wounded, among the 516 Canadians who died in service during the Korean War.

Plans call for a reflecting pool with pond lillies and a prayer pathway, as well as traditional three boulder arrangements around the already-planted Korean/Japanese Red Pine trees.

A brochure can be printed out from the abslangley.ca website that highlights some of the sites at the DDA to enjoy while walking, and which also has a walkathon chart that can be filled out to keep track of the number of kilometres walked during the Month to Remember.

Contributions to help fund the creation of the Korean War Memorial Garden can be made through the website.

A month to remember will conclude on Nov. 11th, with a celebration at 2 p.m. at the Walk to Remember commemorative structure at the DDA.

Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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