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Queensland Korean War Memorial

  Vice Minister WOO MOOSEOG

 

기 념 사

Commemorative Remarks by

Vice Minister WOO Mooseog, ROK Patriots and Veterans Affairs,

On the Occasion of the

60th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Korean War

July 10, 2010

 

 

오늘 바쁘신 가운데 자리를 함께해 주신

호주 보훈부  Brett Ragause 님

퀸즈랜드주정부 Margaret Keech 님

골드코스트 Chris Robbins 님

내외귀빈 여러분

그리고 무엇보다 한국전 참전용사와 그 유가족 여러분

또, 오늘 행사를 준비해주신 김진수 총영사님과

안종철 60주년 사업위원장님, Maurie Pears 자문의장님

그리고 기념사업회 회원님들의 수고에 대해 진심을 감사를 드립니다.

 

Honorable Brett Ragues representing the Department of Veterans Affairs

Honorable Margaret Keech representing the Hon Anna Bligh

Cr Chris Robbins representing the city of Gold Coast

Honored Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Most importantly, veterans of the Korean War and their families,

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend this meaningful event. I also would

like to thank Consul General KIM Jin Soo, Chairman of 60th Committee AHN Jong Cheol,

AKWMQ Advisory Council Maurie Pears, and other members of the commemoration committee

who have organized, and are hosting this event.

 

Our delegation from Korea is here in a beautiful city Gold Coast to remember the Korean War, honor Korean War veterans, appreciate contributions from the Australian government and other UN Allies and recognize the great sacrifices of those who fought the communist invasion 60 years ago.

 

When our nation's fate was put in an extremely precarious state the United Nations, particularly the Australian Government sent hundreds of thousands of troops to repel the communist invasion and finally saved our nation. Korea is blessed and grateful to have been supported by such wonderful UN Allies and selfless and brave veterans of the Korean War.

 

Dear Korean War Veterans and their family members!

I would like to reflect on your wartime period and collective past. When you heard the call to duty, you left your home and families, who were in tears and wishing for your safe return, and arrived in Korea, a small country that you did not know well. You joined the first mission of the United Nations to preserve peace, defend Korea and protect freedom under the UN flag.

 

You answered our desperate call for help to defend Korea's liberty with a hope for Korea's future without seeking any terms and conditions. You put your dreams on hold and your life at risk to protect people in need and to fight for a better world.

To all the veterans of the Korean War and the Australian government, I bring the deepest gratitude and respect of our fellow citizens, and good wishes from the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak.

 

My proud Korean War Veterans!

During the war, you fought side-by-side with Korean people. You had to endure scorching heat and numbing cold weather. You were forced to face human wave assaults and fierce hand-to-hand combat in the 가평(Kapyung) battle and the 마령산(Maryang-san) battle. You were required to climb mountains, crawl into trenches, dig foxholes and constantly be awake all night long to survive.

 

You felt panic stricken by the attack signal of whistle blasts and bugle calls from the enemies. you cried your hearts out and were terrible sorry for your fallen or wounded comrades when you realized the lack of capacity to help save them.

 

The long, bitter and brutal war ended on July 27, 1953. Thanks to the sacrifices of the Korean War veterans and coalition support of the 21 UN Allied Nations, the Republic of Korea regained its status as a free and democratic nation. Millions of civilians and military personnel were died, wounded, declared missing in action, or made prisoners of war. After the war, Korea was left in ruins and poverty with families and relatives were torn apart, and there was no hope for our future.

 

Korean War veterans may have suffered beyond description from the shock, pain and nightmare of the war. Their dreams, hopes, and futures were affected and changed by the war.  Despite the great cost of lives, the Korean War sometimes has been called the "Forgotten War." Korean War veterans may have not been appreciated and recognized with due attention.

 

However, we Korean people have never forgotten the Korean War and its veterans. We assure you that you will no longer feel "Forgotten" when you witness our love and appreciation and the modern Korea transforming herself from an aided country to an aiding country. A forgotten unsung hero is still a hero. Despite not gaining recognition and appreciation enough, you have always been, and will always be a hero to us.

 

 Korea is alive and is a free and prosperous nation because of you and your family. We Koreans have never taken—and will never take--our peace, prosperity and democracy for granted. You deserve our unending honor, gratitude and respect. As long as Korea and its people breathe, the Korean War and its veterans, our true heroes, will never be forgotten.

 

Korean War Veterans

Look back at your legacy and what you have achieved in Korea. You helped make Korea and the world a better place to live. You safeguarded other nations from communist attack. You unified under the UN banner people from many countries and backgrounds but with one common goal. You set a standard for selflessness, courage and sacrifice. You showed us that freedom is not free and never has been.

 

Korean War veterans laid the foundation for one of the great success stories in human freedom. We Koreans know that the soil of the Republic of Korea has been watered and fertilized by the sacrifices of Korean War veterans and by the silent tears, pain and anguish of their family members, who were left with only memories and big holes in their hearts.

 

Thanks to your sacrifices and services along with Koreans who work so hard and are diligent, the Republic of Korea has risen from the ashes of the war and has accomplished remarkable growth and development and become one of the most dynamic, free, democratic and prosperous nations in the world.

Thank you Korean War veterans and bereaved family members for your continuing  interest and support to Korea.

 

Through the Revisit and Youth Camp for Peace Program, we will enable veterans, your families and offspring to come to Korea, your second home to witness that your sacrifices and devotion were not in vain. For veterans who are unable to travel, Korea's heads of mission abroad will hold comfort and appreciation events to recognize and praise your achievements.

 

We will continue to link with the legacy of the veterans to their descendants and keep your triumph alive. We will also insure that Korean War veterans’ blood and sweat have not been in vain by contributing to world peace and prosperity. We are forever grateful to each and every one of you.

 

In accordance with our policy for Korean War Veterans, it is a very important and meaningful project for both the government of Queensland state, Australia and Republic of Korea to build the Korean War Memorial in the heart of Gold Coast city to honor and remember Korean War Veterans. The Korean government, Republic of Korea will make every effort to provide any support to make this project a success.

 

To the veterans of the Korean War--those here, those around the world, and to those in both marked and unmarked graves who gave their precious lives to the cause of freedom--I would like to say, on behalf of a grateful, blessed and peaceful nation, the Republic of Korea:

 

60 years ago you helped make Korea and the world peaceful. The sacrifices by Korean War veterans and contributions by the Australian government laid the foundations for freedom that we and future generations will continue to enjoy and cherish. We remember and honor you, and we are very grateful.

 

God bless Korean War veterans and God bless your great nation.

Thank you very much.