Today is the 64th anniversary of the 1953 Armistice agreement that officially brought the Korean War to a close.
FILE PHOTO: Delegates sign the Korean War Armistice on 27 July 1953. US DoD photo.
More than 17,000 Australians served during the conflict, with 340 Australians killed and more than 1200 wounded.
Twenty other nations provided military personnel, medical support or other assets to the United Nations effort in Korea, despite most still recovering from the impact of the Second World War.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said Australian soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses made an important contribution to this international endeavour, serving both during the conflict and in the post-armistice period, which continued until 1957.
“In Korea, Australian service personnel earned international respect for their courage and endurance in battle,” Mr Tehan said.
“Today we pause to remember the service and sacrifice of our veterans and the debt of gratitude owed to them by all Australians.”
“Among the many actions in which Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen were involved in Korea, two in particular, the battles of Kapyong and Maryang San, have become the focus of commemorations.
“At Kapyong, 32 Australians died in fierce fighting, and the Battle of Maryang San, where 20 Australians died, was described by official historian Robert O’Neill as the greatest single feat of the Australian Army in Korea.
“In October last year, eight Australian veterans of the Korean War returned to Korea for the 65th anniversary commemorations of the battles of Kapyong and Maryang San.
“I had the pleasure of meeting this group of men both on that mission to the Republic of Korea and at services in Canberra last March to honour their service and sacrifice.
“Australia owes the men and women who served in Korea our ongoing thanks and gratitude,” Mr Tehan said.
+ + +