Korea Vet News
Published by the Korean War Commemoration Council of Canada
Dedicated to the sacrifice and indomitable spirit of Veterans
of the Korean War
Painting “A Nation Reborn”
by Canadian Artist Ted Zuber
Veteran of The Royal Canadian Regiment
September 30, 2007
Australian Veterans to participate in November 11 global program to salute Fallen Comrades in UN Cemetery
United Nations Memorial Monument on United Nations Way outside the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Nam-gu district of Busan.
While we don’t have a count yet, our Comrades in Australia are embracing the November 11 global program to “turn and salute Fallen Comrades in the UN Cemetery in Korea.”
Jim Farmer, national secretary of the Korea Veterans Association of Australia advises that he has contacted many units and thinks "It's a great idea!" Mister Farmer said he has spread the word to many and official notice of the program will be published in the KVAA’s magazine.
As we all know, our Australian chums are quick to show their grit. They stood their ground and received from their government permission to wear the ROK Korean War Service Medal on their left side.
The resourceful ROK politicians got around any conflict with their armed forces and honours regulations by stipulating the medal may be worn “in civilian dress only.”
Program gaining momentum in Canada
In Canada we have heard from several Veterans in locations from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The various Canadian units of KVA Canada, Royal Canadian Legion and other organizations usually are enterprising. They often take action on their own locally without waiting for directives or an endorsement from their national executive.
Moreover, the program is one of local choice and all Veterans can participate, regardless of their affiliation with the various veterans organizations.
We expect that Korean War Veteran groups in all of the nations that supported the Republic of Korea during the war will observe the November 11 salute to fallen comrades.
It is very simple in format and therefore no elaborate preparations need be made.
At the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, school children and colour parties will face toward each of the 16 nations that sent troops or supporting medical units to Korea during the war.
Appropriate recognition will be given to each nation.
All around the world, at some time during November 11, local groups of Korean War Veterans will turn toward the UN Cemetery and make an appropriate acknowledgment of their choice to honour all those who fell in service.
There are 2,300 service personnel buried at the UNMCK in Busan, including: Australia 281, Canada, 378, France 44, Netherlands 117, New Zealand 17, Norway 1, Republic of Korea 36, South Africa 11, Turkey 462, United Kingdom 885, United States 36, Non-combatants 11, Unknown 4.
Although many nations repatriated their Fallen the UN Cemetery contains two memorials to all of the UN Force troops who lost their lives during the Korean War.
One of these is the United Nations Forces Monument, first dedicated in 1978 and completely refurbished in 2007. It contains a scroll of all of the known names, more than 40,000, of the Korean War casualties from the allied nations outside of Korea.
The other is the United Nations Wall of Remembrance, dedicated in 2006. Like the first UN memorial it was paid for in its entirety by the people of Korea.
The UN Wall of Remembrance has the names of 40,985 fallen servicemen engraved deeply in its granite panels.
That includes all 516 Canadians named on the Korean War Roll of Honour.
It includes the names of 36.492 service personnel from the United States, who fell in Korea.
The Memorial Wall lists those who lost their lives and who were identified and those who never returned from the front and were reported missing, presumed dead, and those who were lost at sea or in air action and never recovered.
Windsor Unit Making Progress with Program
One KVA Canada Unit located in Windsor, Ontario, warmly embraces the program.
Peter Remdenok, a volunteer who was his KVA unit secretary for many years, has liaised with the organization that plans and administers Windsor’s November 11 Remembrance Day ceremonies at the city’s cenotaph.
The City of Windsor holds two services each year, both attended by upwards of 2,000 people. One is held on a Sunday closest to November 11. The other is held on the actual day of recognition.
The Korean War Fallen Comrades recognition element is being worked into the formal program and will be announced on the public address system.
During the formal program, Korean War Veterans and citizens desiring to do so will turn along a designated plot line directly toward the UN Cemetery and the 378 Canadian graves.
Comment will be made to acknowledge the seven Windsor servicemen interred there, and to express remembrance for the 16 Canadian soldiers who fell and have no known graves and the five members of the Royal Canadian Navy who were lost at sea.
Korea Vet News will soon publish an exact GPS reference so that the UN Cemetery can easily be plotted from any location on the globe.
The GPS reference was a suggestion of Veteran Doug Bamford, a member of KVA Canada Unit 61 in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Doug thought the GPS reference would be an easy way for Veterans in small communities across Canada to align themselves with the UN Cemetery location, up to 6,000 miles distant and beyond the Pacific Ocean.
It will be of similar assistance to Veterans in remote areas around the globe.
In Windsor, Pete Remdenok is arranging for a cartographer/surveyor with the Windsor Parks and Recreation Department to establish an accurate plot line.
Please identify your group to Korea Vet News
While this is the first time that a November 11 tribute ceremony has ever been held at the United Nations Cemetery Korea, it will be acknowledged annually.
Korea Vet News is assisting in coordination of the global program.
We ask that participating Veterans groups send us the name of their local organization, and their community name, province or state and country. A contact name with telephone number and e-Mail address will be appreciated.
We will tabulate and provide the information to the UN Cemetery staff for their internal use and also in publicizing the service and helping to draw world attention to our Fallen Comrades – and to the sacrifices and noble efforts of all who served.
We also will coordinate national news efforts to acknowledge the participation of Veterans all across Canada. Full identification credit will go to “Korean War Veterans” or to their organizations.
Local news media activity will be left to each participating group.
With dozens of communities participating throughout Canada the widespread acknowledgment of our Fallen Comrades will indeed be newsworthy – although the news media of the day certainly did not pay them much heed in the 1950’s when they fell in service to their country.
The same applies on a global basis, when perhaps hundreds of Korean War Veterans groups from all 16 nations turn to Busan to honour their Fallen Comrades and remember all who served.
The program is very simple yet it will have great meaning.
It will help the world remember how citizens from many nations volunteered to rush to the aid of the people of South Korea and fulfill the commitment of their own countries to the United Nations Charter.
It will honour our Fallen Comrades and help dispel the notion that the Korean War still is “the Forgotten War.”
Very fine gentlemen are buried in the United Nations Cemetery in Busan, or commemorated there.
It would be nice, indeed, if like us, the rest of the world could say:
Lat North 35 deg 08 min
Lon East 29 deg 06 min
Those are the exact GPS coordinates for the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea.
On November 11 we should all be looking that way to honour our Fallen Comrades who are buried there or who are commemorated there.
The program at the UNMCK in Busan is moving ahead nicely and interest in participating from afar is building around the world.
Several groups of Korean War Veterans in Canada will hold local services and face toward the UNMCK on November 11. They will decide the content and the tribute expressed to their Fallen Comrades as each observance is done locally and follows no global format.
The same thing is happening in Australia and with local groups from some Veterans groups in the United States. Australia has 281 servicemen buried in the UN Cemetery and the US has 36. US Fallen were repatriated and those buried in the UNMCK died years following the Korean War.
The British Korea Veterans Association has been contacted and we anticipate that many of our friends in the United Kingdom will also hold special programs to look toward Busan and salute the 885 British servicemen buried there.
Mister Kim Soon-bong, assistant custodian at the UNMCK advises that the famous Suk-po Elementary School choir will sing during the service.
The choir has sung at Canadian services within the UNMCK every year since 2001 when the Monument to Canadian Fallen was first dedicated.
In 2003 when a companion monument was dedicated in Ottawa, Ontario, the choir flew to Canada and provided wonderful song and music for the 1,100 Veterans gathered there.
They so impressed Prime Minister Jean Chretien that he knelt down and plucked the strings of one of the kayabom instruments that most of the girls play.
Canadian Veteran flying to Korea to participate in ceremony at Busan
One Canadian Veteran, Peter Seiresen of Nanaimo, British Columbia, will fly to Busan to represent all of his Canadian comrades at the UNMCK service.
Mr. Kim has welcomed his participation and hopes that Veterans from other nations might also feel inspired to attend.
Mr. Kim notes that the Busan branch of the Korea Veterans Association (Korea) will participate in the service with many ROK Veterans of the Korean War involved.
In Canada some groups are incorporating the observance into the regular Remembrance Day service held in their communities. Others plan a separate service to turn toward Fallen Comrades buried in the UNMCK or who are commemorated there.
Sixteen Canadian soldiers who fell and who were never recovered from the front are listed on the Commonwealth Monument to Those With No Known Graves.
Through an oversight, the five members of the Royal Canadian Navy who were lost at sea on ships or in air crashes are not listed on the Monument. Veterans Affairs Canada is addressing this oversight.
Special service planned by National Capital Unit of Korea Veterans Association of Canada
The National Capital Unit of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada will hold a most impressive ceremony in Ottawa.
According to Unit President LCdr Bill Black, he is planning a ceremony to be held at the Monument to Canadian Fallen that is located in its own small park adjacent to the National Arts Centre.
The Monument was installed in 2003 and faces along a precise plot line to the UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan where the original Monument to Canadian Fallen was dedicated in 2001 and Consecrated in 2002.
Bill says his Veterans will gather at the Ottawa monument with an honour guard and flag party on the evening of September 10.
They will turn to face the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, Korea at 9 pm, November 10.
That will be 11 am, November 11 in Busan, the time at which tribute is paid to the Fallen from all nations in the UN Cemetery service.
The piper for the Ottawa ceremonies is the renowned Jack Coghill, arguably the best piper in all of Canada.
Jack was the official piper for the Veterans Affairs Canada 2003 Pilgrimage to Korea.
He played the lament to close out the three-year long Korean War Commemoration Program in Seoul at a huge international ceremony held by the United Nations Command at Yongsan Garrison.
Pipe Major Coghill is 83. He served in the Battle of the North Atlantic during World War Two with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve.
Come rain, snow, whatever, Veterans of the Korean War will be there at the Monument to Canadian Fallen in Ottawa, Bill Black promises.
Wall of Remembrance memorializes 40,895
More than 40,000 service personnel from all nations who supported South Korea during the Korean War are commemorated on the newly dedicated Wall of Remembrance. The names of 40,895 servicemen who lost their lives are engraved on the black granite panels of the wall.
The Wall has its own internal flame and a reflective meditation pond that stretched in front of it.
Korea Vet News is trying to assemble a list of communities around the world that will participate in the observance by turning toward N 35.08 by E 29.06 on November 11 to commemorate our Fallen Comrades.
This list will be shared with the UNMCK staff and will be of interest to Korean news media who cover the service.
It is a noble effort to honour our Fallen Comrades and to let the world remember the cause for which they died more than half a century ago.
We will remember them!
It is of special note that the staff of the UNMCK works tirelessly to ensure the sacrifices of service personnel and their families from around the world are remembered and that the names of those who fell in the Korean War are never forgotten.
Just opened at the UN Memorial Cemetery is the 100-meter long Daunt Waterway, a stream separating the cemetery from the adjacent green area where the Wall of Remembrance is located.
The tranquil stream was landscaped by the PARK student activity club of Pukyung National University.
The stream is planted with lotus flowers and is home to schools of colourful gold fish.
It is named for 17-year old Private J. P. Daunt of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment who was killed in action on November 6, 1951.
Private Daunt is the youngest serviceman buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery.
Tribute has also been paid to the oldest serviceman buried in the cemetery.
The interior of the UN Forces Monument has been renovated and converted to an exhibition hall. It will display photographs of servicemen interred in the cemetery and various memorabilia.
The monument formerly contained scrolls with the names of more than 40,000 servicemen from UN member nations who lost their lives in Korean War service. Their names are now engraved on the granite panels of the Wall of Remembrance, which was dedicated and Consecrated in 2006.
The exhibition area has been named Carabot Hall in honour and memory of Seaman P. Carobot, who died serving as a British merchant seaman on the SS Reynold Kerr of the Merchant Navy on February 10, 1951 at age 54.
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