A light train in Sydney began its operation on Monday, featuring the images of eight Australian Korean War veterans to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
The light train named “Lest Korea Forget” has been planned to pay respect to Australian Korean War veterans. “I am so touched that the Korean War has been recognized as part of Australia’s history,” said former Rear Adm. Ian Crawford – one of the eight figures featured on the train – said at the opening ceremony held in Sydney on Wednesday.
Crawford had served the Navy for 40 years from 1949 to 1989. He participated in the Korean War in 1950 at the age of 18 and helped the escape of the isolated United Nations forces and supported a troop heading north in extreme conditions. “As an 18-year-old officer candidate, every moment of the Korean War felt dramatic,” he said during an interview with the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs.
The other seven figures featured on the train along with Crawford had diverse records. Brian Cooper led the victory of the Battle of the Samichon River – one of the last ones during the Korean War – with an outstanding leadership despite his young age as a teenager. Warwick Bracegirdle participated in both World War II and the Korean War and received three Distinguished Service Crosses from the U.S. Cecil Sly participated in the rear harassing tactics as an air force pilot. Steve Dodd who was the first Aboriginal man to sign up from South Australia to go to Korea.
Moreover, Grace Bury who served as a medic, Stafford Lenoy who was killed during the Battle of Kapyong in 1951 and buried in a United Nations cemetery, and Francis Hassett who later served as Chief of the Defence Force Staff have been also selected to be showcased on the train.
The special light train organized by the Korean Cultural Centre AU and the Anzac Memorial will run until July 26. In addition, a tram decorated with portraits of Australian veterans will run in Melbourne. “I hope that citizens will see the light train running through the city and be moved by the proud history of the Australian military,” said Andrew Constance, the New South Wales Minister for Transport and Roads.