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Armistice Day Salute

2017 07 27  Armistice-Day-Salute  icon

The Korea Society welcomed Korean War veterans and guests to the Korean War memorial in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park. This annual salute to Korean War veterans on Armistice Day marks the War’s end and valor of US, South Korean, and other UN forces during the conflict. This year’s proceedings began at 12 noon.

 

Senator Alfonse D’Amato to Gave Memorial Address at Armistice Memorial Ceremony for Korean War Veterans Thursday, July 27, 2017, at Noon, Battery Park, Manhattan 

 


 

Program

Noon
Call to order by Dr. Stephen Noerper, and Presentation of Colors
Invocation by Reverend James Chongo Kim, First United Methodist Church
Welcome by Korea Society President Thomas Byrne
Welcome by Director of Korean Cultural Center New York, Mr. Seungje Oh
Remarks by the Honorable Alfonse D’Amato, former United States Senator
Remarks by Salvatore Scarlato, Korean War Veterans Area Commander
Closing taps

Korea Society Members and General Public Welcome

This program enjoys the additional generous support of the Korean Consulate General in New York and the Global Society of Korea and America.

Private lunch for Veterans, remarks by Dr. Henry Kang, Global Society of Korea and America

 

Senator D’Amato’s Remarks

DAmato

New York City, July 27, 2017
Honorable Alfonse D’Amato
former United States Senator

 

Senator D’Amato’s Remarks at the Armistice Memorial Ceremony
for Korean War Veterans
Thursday, July 27, 2017, at Noon, Battery Park, Manhattan



Thank you, Director Oh. As Director of the Korean Cultural Center in New York, your organization highlights and showcases Korea’s true richness in our great city. Especially as your country gets ready to host the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic games.

I’d next like to acknowledge Thomas Byrne, who invited me here today, President of The Korea Society, a vitally important organization that’s celebrating its 60th anniversary of promoting greater awareness and understanding between the peoples of Korea and America.

But perhaps most importantly, let me acknowledge Korean War veteran Salvatore Scarlato (a fellow Italian-American, no doubt) who’s President of the New York Department of the Korean War Veterans Association. After all, the veterans – and, their sacrifice – is why we’re all here today. I want to salute members of the Korean Veterans Association, Northeast Region – including, the Corporal Kivilehan Chapter #66 of Staten Island – and the Korean War Veterans Association of Central Long Island Chapter #6. I’m a proud Long Islander myself. I can’t begin to imagine the sacrifices you made, and the things you saw, while deployed in Korea.

It is my profound honor and sincere pleasure to pay whatever tribute I can to those American troops, including those of you here, who fought alongside South Korean troops – and in over 36,000 cases, died – defending South Korea, and its people against North Korean and mainland Chinese forces. Almost 8,000 are still missing.

Korea’s been called the forgotten war but none of us has forgotten your sacrifice. And none of us ever will. Were it not for your sacrifice, all Korea – North AND South – might look like the North does today. It’s important to remember that the Korean War was the first major conflict in a wider Cold War that the United States and its allies eventually won. But unlike the Cold War, Korea remains unresolved. Divided. Cut in two. Families torn apart. Artillery and rockets pointed south. And now of course, an intercontinental ballistic missile pointed here. At our very own United States.

On this solemn anniversary, it’s important we remember our history. North Korean propaganda and vitriol says it was we and South Korea who invaded the North in June 1950. This of course – as with many North Korean claims – is a complete lie not least because U.S. troops, under General Douglas MacArthur’s command, didn’t even arrive in Korea [at Incheon] until July 1950.

Today, North Korea taunts us with nuclear weapons, claiming it needs these weapons to defend itself against another so-called U.S. invasion. But that’s not the North’s real game. Not at all. Fact is, they’ve sought these weapons since the 1960s as a means to separate the U.S. from South Korea. To drive us apart. Put a wedge between us. To force us into direct negotiations around our friends in Seoul which would mean abandoning our Korean ally. That can’t happen. Otherwise, these veterans’ sacrifice to safeguard South Korea would have been in vain. I hope our own leaders today realize, and appreciate, this fact while crafting U.S. policy on the North.

Director Oh. Korea Society President Byrne. Mr. Scarlato, all our veterans here today and everyone attending this beautiful event, thank you so much for the opportunity to speak to you and to honor these great people and the many sacrifices that they and their families made. We will NEVER forget. I promise you that.

May God bless you, your families and all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Korea. And may God continue to bless the people of Korea and the United States of America.

Thank you very much.

 


Thomas Byrne’s Remarks

byrne

New York City, July 27, 2017
Thomas Byrne
President of The Korea Society

The Korea Society, a 60-year-old organization that promotes awareness, understanding and cooperation between the US and Korea, is honored to host, along with the Global Society of Korea and America, this memorial ceremony for veterans of the Korean War.

As we commemorate National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, it is important to honor the sacrifices made for the protection of the free world between 1950 and 1953.

We honor the 28 Korean War Veterans here today.

Nearly 1.8 mn Americans joined in the fight, with 36,914 service men paying the ultimate sacrifice in giving up their lives for the defense of freedom.

Nor should we forget the commitment and sacrifices made by the armed forces of 21 countries from the United Nations and those from South Korea, whose troops held three-fourths of the front line in the year before the armistice.

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, signed by the UN Commander in Chief and the military commanders of China and North Korea.

While the armistice ceased hostilities, it did not achieve, as the signatories recommended to the governments concerned, a “final peaceful settlement.”

Nonetheless, the Mutual Defense Treaty signed by the US and ROK two months after the Armistice Agreement has since then successfully prevented the outbreak of a second war on the Korean peninsula.

The Armistice also has enabled the successful transition of South Korea into a prosperous and vibrant democracy.

In contrast, North Korea has squandered the past six decades. Its people are deprived of basic human rights, suffered horribly in the mid-1990s famine and neither participate in nor benefit from integration into the global economy.

The contrast with the South could not be starker.

South Korea is a responsible stakeholder among the community of nations, contributing to global peace keeping operations and to global governance as a key member of the G-20 group of large nations.

South Korea is one of our top trade partners and has become an increasingly important donor to international development assistance programs.

Today we are grateful for the participation of:

• Senator Alfonse D’Amato
• Director Seungje Oh of the Korean Cultural Center, New York City
• the Consulate of the ROK in New York City
• the Veteran Corps of Artillery of the State of New York
• Area Commander, Salvatore Scarlato & the Korean War Veterans Assoc’n Central Long Island Chapter
• the New York Department of the Korean Veterans Association, Northeast Region
• the Corporal Kivlehan Chapter of Staten Island

We also thank the West Point Hellcats band.

For more than six decades, the U.S.-ROK alliance has served as an anchor of stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

This is possible because relations between the peoples of South Korea and America today are broader, deeper, and stronger than ever.

 


Oh Seung Je’s Remarks

2017 07 27  Armistice-Day-Salute  oh

New York City, July 27, 2017
Oh Seung Je
Director of the Korean Cultural Center New York

Good Afternoon, My name is Oh Seung Je, Director of the Korean Cultural Center New York.

It is my pleasure and honor to commemorate the 64th Korean War Armistice Day with all of you here at Battery Park.

I thank the Korea Society and the New York Korean War Veterans Association for preparing the event today. I also thank former Senator Al D'Amato and other distinguished guests for joining in this commemoration.

Today marks the end of the bloodiest war in the history of Korea. The conflict claimed the lives of nearly 180,000 soldiers and wounded over the half a million from Korea, the Unites States, and 15 other participating countries. Civilian casualties near 4 million in the course of the 3-year war.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all Korean War veterans for their services and sacrifices. Without them, Korea today would not exist.

Owing to their service and sacrifice, Korea has transformed into a mature democracy, and global economic and cultural powerhouse. We are witnessing a rising tide of the Korean Wave of culture and arts worldwide, and it is with this history and current context that we are able to achieve even greater cultural impact across the world. Next year, Korea has the honor of hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in PyeongChang.

Korea and the United States have been and will remain the strongest of allies. At the Summit Meeting on June 30th in Washington DC, President Moon Jae-in and President Trump pledged "to build an even greater alliance going forward."

One again, thank you, Korean War veterans. You are the evidence of our strong alliance and partnership between Korea and the United States. I wish you good health and happiness. Thank you.

 


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