Participants in a ceremony to mark the 71st anniversary of the Korean War strike a bell in Hwacheon County, Gangwon Province, Friday. Penta Press
The Peace Dam in Hwacheon County, Gangwon Province Penta Press
The regional government of Gangwon Province in the northeastern part of South Korea hosted a ceremony on Friday to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War.
The ceremony took place near the Peace Dam in Hwacheon County, and its theme was “Precious sacrifice, engraved deeply in the heart.”
Some 220 local and foreign guests attended, including veterans, Gangwon Province Gov. Choi Moon-soon and former members of the US House of Representatives.
“To mark the 71st anniversary of the Korean War, we deeply appreciate the veterans and bereaved families who have devoted themselves to the country, and we will do our best to ensure peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” said Gov. Choi.
In a commemorative speech, former Tennessee Rep. Bart Gordon said, “We appreciate the opportunity to celebrate and build on the deep enduring friendship and alliance between the US and Korea over the last 71 years -- a friendship that is grounded in common values and commitment to democratic freedoms, shared sacrifices and cooperation.
“Together we can and will face the threat of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and employ all our resources to bring peace to the peninsula. We will honor and build not only on our own bilateral relationship but on the trilateral and multilateral relationships that are so critical to creating lasting peace in the region,” he said.
During the event, 10 people received citations from the governor for their contributions to promoting security awareness and the welfare of veterans. When the ceremony ended, participants struck a bell made out of empty cartridges collected from disputed areas around the world.
Veterans showed their appreciation for the annual anniversary ceremony, but some also said they hoped more attention would be paid to veterans suffering from illness and financial difficulties.
Lee Sung-jin, 87, a veteran residing in Gangwon Province, said he regularly takes part in the anniversary ceremonies.
“I am happy that I could meet many people through the event,” Lee said. “I am still fine but there are many fellow veterans who are suffering from severe illness. I hope more support can be given to them.”
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org