World Asked to "Turn Toward Busan," Thank Korean War Veterans
An annual commemoration was held on Wednesday in South Korea's southern port city of Busan to pay respect to foreign soldiers who fought during the 1950-53 Korean War. President Moon Jae-in also marked the day, promising to safeguard the pride and honor of veterans by ensuring South Korea’s peace and prosperity.
["Turn Toward Busan" ceremony at UN Memorial Cemetery of Korea (Nov. 11, 2020)]
At 11:00 am on November 11, the world was asked to "Turn Toward Busan," where Korean war veterans gathered at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery of Korea.
A 21-gun salute was fired and participants observed a minute of silence, paying their respects to the fallen war heroes.
Hosted by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, this year’s "Turn Toward Busan" commemoration brought together some 150 people, including war veterans and their families, as well as key officials from the UN Command and countries that sent troops and medical support to help South Korea defend the country.
The prime minister stressed that the war veterans made South Korea possible today.
[Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun (Korean-English translation)]
"Thank you. The Republic of Korea will prove how valuable your sacrifice was. The people of the Republic of Korea will spread your spirit of freedom to the world in the name of peace."
"Seventy years ago, many young people from 22 countries around the globe joined the Korean War for a good cause. That was to safeguard the freedom and peace of the Republic of Korea. It was to protect the peace of the world. The good cause of the UN war veterans was the flame of hope that made the Republic of Korea today possible."
The South Korean government officially designated November 11 as International Memorial Day for UN Korean War Veterans this year.
Ahead of the commemoration, South Korea launched a public advertisement around the world, thanking elderly service members who fought alongside the country during the war.
[S. Korean gov't public ad: "Thanks to UN Veterans"]
The 30-second clip honoring foreign veterans began airing on electronic billboards in New York, London and Bangkok. The public ad has been provided to overseas broadcasters like the BBC and CNN, and also posted on YouTube.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the three-year war. The two Koreas are still technically at war, since fighting ended with a ceasefire agreement signed in 1953 and not a peace treaty.