Korea to honor fallen UN Korean War veterans in annual ceremony in Busan

Bomi Yoon

Canadian citizens and Korean college students put Canadian flag and flowers on the graveyard of Canadian soldiers who died in the Korean War at the U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan in this 2019 June file photo. Korea Times file

Korea will host an annual ceremony this week to commemorate the sacrifices of fallen troops who fought under the United Nations flag during the 1950-53 Korean War, the veterans ministry said Friday.

The “Turn Toward Busan” event will take place at the U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Saturday, with the attendance of some 1,000 people, including bereaved family members, Korean War veterans and diplomatic delegates, according to the ministry.

The memorial park is the only U.N. cemetery in the world, home to 2,320 fallen veterans of the war from 11 countries. Some 1.98 million personnel from 22 countries were dispatched to help South Korea under a U.N. mandate during the war, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

During the ceremony, a minute of silence will be observed at 11 a.m. and a 21-gun salute will be fired in honor of the fallen troops as sirens wail throughout the city.

The event will also feature various commemorative performances, including a flyover by the Korean Air Force’s Black Eagles aerobatic team.

After the ceremony, the remains of two British and four Colombian Korean War veterans, who died after the conflict, will be buried in the cemetery at their own or their families’ wishes. Their remains arrived in Korea on Wednesday.

The ministry said the weekend ceremony will cap off a series of events it hosted this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the war.

At the invitation of the ministry, 18 foreign Korean War veterans, along with their family members, arrived in Korea on Wednesday for a six-day stay.

Meanwhile, the Korea Defense Veterans Association (KDVA) and the Korea-U.S. Alliance Foundation (KUSAF) issued a joint statement thanking U.S. veterans for their service in the war ahead of Veterans Day in the United States, which falls on the day of the memorial event.

The KDVA and the KUSAF “salute and sincerely thank” over 1.8 million American Veterans who fought in the Korean War, it said. (Yonhap)

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