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People all over the world, whe love peace and freedom, may pay tribute and give thanks for the sacrifice made by the fallen.

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[일반] Korea Vet News (article on new UNMCK website)

  • Writeradmin
  • Date2007-05-22 15:56:34
  • Count4665

Korea Vet NewsIndependent Internet Publication - May 8, 2007

Dedicated to the sacrifice and indomitable spirit of Canada 's Korean War Veterans

Many outstanding features ensure

Fallen Comrades will not be forgotten

United Nations Cemetery launches

marvelous new English Internet site

The United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea unveiled its English language website on May 1, making it possible for Veterans, families of the Fallen, students and interested others to make a “virtual visit” to the cemetery and pay tribute to one of the Fallen resting there.

The new website as yet has had less than 100 visitors because word is just getting out.

You can call up the new site on www.unmck.or.kr

After spending considerable time going through its features one of the first things you probably will want to do is leave a message of appreciation for His Excellency Lee Suk-jo, the Custodian and his executive staff and advisors:

Mr. Kim Soon-bong, the long-serving public official who is assistant custodian

Mr. Song, the executive administrator

Professor Kim Soo-il, who is chairman for the Independent Public Relations Council of UNMCK and

Miss E. J. Park who works so tirelessly and with heartfelt dedication to honour our Fallen Comrades.

Others are involved, of course, both as UNMCK employees and advisors and as serving volunteers, including some from the Nam-gu District office.

Perhaps the best expression of what the UN Memorial Cemetery is and does comes from His Excellency Lee Suk-jo himself, in his website introduction:

Here rest 2,300 UN expatriots who gave their invaluable lives during the Korean War.

It is my humble hope that a visit to the UNMCK, the only UN cemetery in the world, will effect your sincere tribute to those who fell fighting for peace and freedom and help you reminisce the historic meanings of the sacrifice made by the Fallen, which will be one of the ways to keep Korea great.

It is my belief that paying tribute to the priceless sacrifice made by those interred at the UNMCK will help bring about a global village full of humanity caring for each other regardless of race or nationality.

Let’s come together and spread humanity throughout the world for mankind!

Lee Suk-jo
Custodian of the UNMCK

Korea Vet News acknowledges there are a cynical few who scoff at the current quest of Canadian Veterans to place photographs of Fallen Comrades upon the new grave markers being provided by the Korean Government. A few in official jobs have groused about what a pain such work might be.

Those few naysayers should reflect upon the messages or actions of family members of those who gave their all for Korea and their own nation; those who are interred in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery forever.

Here, from Miss E. J. Park, dedicated public relations officer who is spearheading the program to place photographs of the Fallen upon their new grave markers:

“I’ve experienced a lot interesting and impressive stories from my work at the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea since 2004. Whenever I meet a bereaved family of the interred at the UNMCK, I feel sorry and am very moved by their love to the family.

On October 19, 2005, Mrs. Sheppard (from Australia ) visited the Memorial Cemetery with her daughter.

However, Mrs. Sheppard was not alive, but a handful of ashes. I was told by her daughter of her last will to be buried with Mr. Sheppard, her husband who has been buried at the UNMCK since 1951.

Mrs. Sheppard was pregnant when Mr. Sheppard left her for Korea to participate in the Korean War in 1950. She gave birth to a baby girl without her husband a few months later. He was killed in action in 1951 and she had remained single until she died.

Finally, the whole family could get together. Her daughter spoke between sobs that Mrs. Sheppard must have been happy to meet her husband again and to stay with him forever.

Miss E. J. Park

The following is a poignant and related message from His Excellency Lee Suk-jo, Custodian of the UNMCK:

Couples interred at the UNMCK

At present, there are three cases of couples who share tombs at the UNMCK.

They are:
Mr. Sheppard and Mrs. from Australia ,
Mr. Heron and Mrs. from UK and
Mr. Hong, Ok Bong and Mrs. from Korea

The husbands died during the Korean War and were buried here first.

The wives lived alone for the rest of their lives and left wills asking to be buried beside their husbands.

The latest case was of Mrs. Sheppard who died at the age of 87 in 2004.
Her only daughter Monica brought the ashes from home and buried her mother beside her father in the symbolic area at the UNMCK in 2005.

Mr. Sheppard had been lying alone since 1951 for 53 years and I believe that he might be happy being together with his wife again.

Fifty-three years is a long time in a sense but may be not that long in comparison to eternity.

The number of such cases is not very large, mainly because most soldiers were too young to marry, being mostly in their early 20’s. Accordingly I don't expect the number will increase much in the future.

However, I have been encouraged by some commitments of the wives of the heroes who are buried here, when they visited the UNMCK recently.

One of them, an American lady whose husband is buried at the UNMCK, came here to bring back (repatriate the remains of) her husband, believing that she may not have many chances to visit this place due to old age.

Being here she was overwhelmed by the cozy environment and atmosphere of the UNMCK.

She promptly decided not to take her husband away. Instead, she asked me about the possibility of being buried beside her beloved husband.

Happily, she decided to be buried here when the time comes. Similarly, there was another such case.

As the Custodian of the UNMCK, I am happy to mention such beautiful stories.

I wish God bless them!

Lee Suk-jo


The following message will also be found on the new website. The poem was written by Mr. A. Sumner to pay tribute to his twin brother Mr. Derek Sumner who is buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery:

SUMNER D 22036186 PTE 1 MC 1 KSLI 1951-09-15 Grave 1810

Together Again

Twin brothers now together
After fifty-two long years
One alive and sorrowed
The other at rest in peace

I thank the Korean people
For my visit to Busan
To stand beside my brother’s grave
That I have so longed for

This visit to Korea
Has been a dream come true
But sadly now I have to leave
As I shed a tear or two

This week has been a moving time
That’s filled my heart with joy
To be lucky to visit my brother’s grave
Will live with me forever more

The new English language website is a wonderful memorial and way of spreading the spirit of those who fell and of those who served.

Be aware that Korea is generally more advanced with PC and Internet technology than many other nations. Internet service is provided through high-speed cable connection and downloading and opening of files and graphics is instantaneous.

PC owners in North America who connect to the Internet through telephone lines or whose computer memories are clogged with data and short on space may have a few pauses as they go through the site.

It is graphics intensive and a delay or two can be expected.

This is particularly true when you call up the UNMCK General View feature. It is worth the few seconds wait, and then some!

You will find a 3-D coloured schematic of the entire cemetery – including the vast “green area” that most visiting Veterans never get to see. By putting the cursor on a long list of features, the location is highlighted on the 3-D schematic map. (The following is an illustration only and is not a functional feature of Korea Vet News).

By clicking on the names of the features you will call up excellent photographs and thus can have a frame by frame virtual tour of the entire UN Cemetery.

Every Monument in the Cemetery can be viewed.

Monument to Canadian Fallen, dedicated and Consecrated 2001

New Zealand Memorial Monument

We recommend opening every feature, including those in the “green area” of the cemetery. It is an area larger than the portion of the grounds that contain the burial plots.

You will find the UN Monument here that was dedicated years ago by President Park Chung-hee.

Another feature in the green area is the newly dedicated Memorial Wall. It lists nearly 42,000 names of UN service personnel who lost their lives during the Korean War.

The names on the wall can be called up by a well identified Memorial Wall selection feature.

You can also explore many other key parts of the website, including one that gives a brief history of the Korean War.

That section has a list of all Monuments in Korea that are dedicated to troops and medical units of the various nations. Be advised that most are panoramic moveable views that some computers cannot open without downloading a special motion viewing program.

Monument to the service of Norway , which provided the Normash hospital unit and its accompanying defence force. The 4-meter high monument is located in Kyonggi-do. It was dedicated in March, 1972

Monument commemorating the brave service of the United States Marine Corps and the ROK Marine Corps in the Korean War. The 13 meter high monument was built in 1964, then reconstructed in 1984. It is located in Kyonggi-do. (There are 34 US memorials on the website, all with graphics)

(The Canadian War Monument at the Canadian Peace Gardens in Kapyong cannot be reproduced from the website as it is programmed in panoramic moveable media).

There is a most commendable feature that permits Internet visitors to locate the grave of a Fallen serviceman on a large map of the cemetery. By putting the cursor on a particular gravesite in a selected plot the data of the interred serviceman is called up.

It is also possible to call up the same data by activating the “Paying Tribute” feature of the new website.

In this case there are blanks to fill in the name and particulars of the Fallen serviceman to whom one wishes to pay tribute.