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Defense minister pays tribute to Korean War veterans in the US: “You, the veterans, are the genuine heroes of the ROK”

At a luncheon for bereaved families in Washington D.C. (US), defense minister emphasizes significance of construction of the Wall of Remembrance and pays respects at the ‘tomb of the unknown soldier’ in Arlington National Cemetery

On July 26 (local time), Minister of National Defe

On July 26 (local time), Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup, making an official visit to the United States (US), attended the ‘luncheon event for the bereaved families of Korean War veterans’ hosted by the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation in Washington D.C., and emphasized that “the 36,634 US troops and 7,174 KATUSA (Korean Augmentation Troops to United States Army), whose names are engraved on the Wall of Remembrance, will be eternally engraved in our minds.”


“I think the Wall of Remembrance, on which the names of the fallen soldiers in the Korean War are engraved, has great significance. The Wall of Remembrance will touch the hearts of Korean people who enjoy peace and prosperity by virtue of these veterans’ dedication,” Lee emphasised.


“You, the veterans, are the genuine heroes of the ROK. The ROK-US alliance, which was achieved by virtue of your dedications, has developed into the most powerful and exemplary alliance in the world,” Lee added, stressing that “the ROK will never forget veterans’ noble sacrifices and courage.”


Lee prayed for the repose of the late Colonel William Weber, who had been committed to constructing the Wall of Remembrance, and expressed words of consolation and respect to his bereaved family, including his widow Ms. Annelie Weber. Lee also made a special statement of gratitude to Reserve Major Paul Blissenbach attending the luncheon event for his contribution to protecting freedom and peace of the ROK for three generations since the Korean War. Reserve Major Blissenbach served in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) for two years starting in 1974. His father, Joseph Blissenbach, was missing in action after being a prisoner of war during the Korean War in November, 1950. His son, Corporal Kurt Blissenbach, is now on active duty at Camp Humphreys.


Defense minister pays tribute to Korean War vetera


Earlier in the day, Lee visited Arlington National Cemetery to lay flowers on and pay his respects at the ‘tomb of the unknown soldier,’ as his first official activity in the US. Lee expressed his respect for the noble sacrifices of all the unknown soldiers who gave their lives to protect freedom and peace in foreign lands, including in the Korean War, and prayed for their peaceful repose. The tomb of the unknown soldier is located at the highest point of Arlington National Cemetery, and serves as a memorial to all those who died in World War I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War but were not identified.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >
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