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[일반] April 15, 2009 Korea Herald/Korean War heroes invited to Seoul

  • Writeradmin
  • Date2009-04-15 12:05:01
  • Count2054

Korean War heroes invited to Seoul

A group of foreign veterans who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War arrived in Seoul yesterday at the invitation of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and the Korea Veterans Association.

Staying here through April 21, the 150 war heroes from four member nations of the British Commonwealth - England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - will start their week-long schedule tomorrow with paying tribute at the National Cemetery and visiting the War Memorial of Korea, the Veterans Ministry said.

As part of the program, the veterans will be awarded medals and certificates honoring their contribution to peace on the Korean Peninsula at tomorrow's welcoming dinner party.

Leo Demay, the head of the international relations office for the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, will be awarded the Apostle of Peace medal for his efforts to introduce the meaning of the Korean War to the world.

After learning his biological father was a Canadian war veteran who had been killed in battle, Demay visited Korea three years ago and settled in Busan, where the UNMCK is based.

Launched in 1975, the invitation event is aimed at expressing the nation's gratitude for foreign soldiers' participation in the war and showing off its development from a war-ravaged country to becoming the world's 13th largest economy.

As of 2008, a total of 25,100 foreign war veterans and their family members had visited Korea.

Of the 1.94 million soldiers dispatched to the war to fight under the U.N. flag against North Korean invaders, around 530,000 are thought to be still alive, according to the Veterans Ministry.

By Lee Ji-yoon
(jylee@heraldm.com)