Posted July. 29, 2009 07:06,
The U.S. flag flew at half mast Monday in Washington to mark the 56th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. U.S. President Barak Obama also proclaimed July 27 National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.
Flags were flown at half mast at major government buildings, including the White House, the State Department and the Treasury, as well as the Washington Monument and the National Mall.
The U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the Korean War Veterans Recognition Act to hoist the flag at half mast, held a reception the same day to mark the 56th anniversary of the signing of the 1953 armistice.
House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel, a Korean War veteran, proposed the bill. At an event with fellow Korean War veterans, leaders of ethnic Korean groups, and South Korean Ambassador to Washington Han Duck-soo, Rangel said the sacrifices of American soldiers in the war will not be forgotten.
Rangel said veterans like him always think of those who failed to return home when talking about the Korean War. He added that the great cause to defend South Korea from communism has helped South Koreans make their country into one of the worlds richest nations.
Texas Rep. Sam Johnson, another Korean War veteran, said the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers helped South Korea secure freedom and democracy, and that freedom is not free.
Prior to the event, the Korean War Veterans Foundation and the Korean War Veterans Armistice Day Committee jointly held an event to commemorate the armistice. A joint Korea-U.S. ceremony was attended by 300 Korean War veterans, Han, and former U.S. Army Chief of Staff and incumbent Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.
Ambassador Han said, Korean War veterans and those who died in the war are all heroes, adding, The government and people of the Republic of Korea will always be grateful for their sacrifices.
Had it not been for their sacrifices, the Republic of Korea couldnt have achieved prosperity and democracy. We will remain grateful for the courage and sacrifice of Korean War veterans.
Shinseki also said South Korea secured democracy thanks to the hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers and combatants who lost their lives in the Korean War.
The South Korean Embassy in Washington will hold a ceremony today to commemorate the armistice at the U.S. House of Representatives. Lawmakers including California Rep. Diane Watson, who is the co-chairwoman of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, and Korean War veterans will attend.