In recognition of the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, Australian veterans will be honoured at a national commemoration today.
CAPTION: Delegates sign the Korean War Armistice on 27 July 1953. US DoD photo.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the nation would reflect with gratitude on the service and sacrifice of some 18,000 Australians, including Army and Royal Australian Air Force nurses, who served in the Korean War and post-Armistice period.
“All three of Australia’s armed services took part in the Korean War, which started in June 1950 when North Korea invaded the south,” Mr Chester said.
“The invasion prompted the beginning of a war that pitted the Cold War powers of communist China and the Soviet Union against the United States and its allies, fighting under United Nations’ auspices, in a massive military confrontation.
“Of the some 18,000 Australian personnel who served, Australia suffered 1500 casualties, including more than 350 who lost their lives and 30 who were taken prisoner.
“More than 40 Australians are still listed as missing in action.”
Twenty-one 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.
“Australian sailors, soldiers, airmen and nurses made an important contribution to this international endeavour, with Australian service personnel earning widespread respect for their courage and endurance,” Mr Chester said.
“The Armistice, signed on 27 July 1953, ended three years of fighting on the Korean peninsula.
“Australians remained in Korea, in a peacekeeping capacity, until 1957.”
A commemorative service will be held at the Australian National Korean War Memorial on Anzac Parade, Canberra, at 11am when Australians will stop to remember the service and sacrifice of Korean War veterans.