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Walk for Korean veterans underway today

Guy Black, accompanied by MPs Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster), centre, and Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam-Port Moody), begins his walk for Korean war veterans in Coquitlam Friday morning.  - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Guy Black, accompanied by MPs Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster), centre, and Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam-Port Moody), begins his walk for Korean war veterans in Coquitlam Friday morning.
— image credit: DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

Carrying two bananas for energy and a bottle of water, a smiling Guy Black set out on his journey to honour Korean war veterans who fought and died in what has been called Canada's "forgotten war."

The jovial Black, flanked by federal politicians Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) and Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam-Port Moody), said good bye to supporters and set out on his way at about 10:30 a.m. this morning.

He is expected to complete his journey at Burnaby's Central Park tomorrow, Saturday, at around 11 a.m., for a special ceremony.

During his 24-hour marathon walk, the Port Moody resident will cross three city boundaries — Coquitlam, Burnaby and North Vancouver — and hike up two mountain summits — Burnaby and Seymour mountains.

Before he left Friday, Black attended a ceremony at Banting Middle school Friday morning, where 600 students heard speeches from prominent politicians, consuls general of the United States andd the Republic of Korea and other dignitaries.

Banting principal Abby Soh also took part in the ceremony, riding into the gym on the back of a motorbike with local veterans.

Black will be accompanied on part of his journey by 36 leadership students from Banting middle school and was expected to reach SFU with them at noon Friday. He would then continue to the top of Mt. Seymour, arriving in the main parking lot, at about 10 p.m. There, he will be greeted by members of the North Shore Rescue team and will participate in a Gapyong Stone Ceremony.

Members of the North Shore Rescue team will present him with stones collected from an isolated lake named after Donald Perkins Hastings, a North Vancouver resident who died in South Korea on Oct. 15, 1952, while on patrol in no mand's land with the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

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