BONDS OF THE KOREAN WAR
General Paik, Sun Yup1 of the Republic of Korea visited Australia for the dedication of the Memorial and on 19th April, 2000, General Paik hosted a dinner in Sydney - for Korean Nationals who served during Korean War and now live in Australia and for Australian veterans of that war.
In a speech given on behalf of all General Paik's dinner guests, Olwyn Green, after thanking the General for his generous hospitality, commented on the unity that the Korean War had created and how this had been reflected in the design of the National Korean War Memorial:
"...The bond between our countries that began on the battlefield in 1950 has grown into a familial bond. In a word, we have become family... .We fought together in the Korean War to preserve liberty, which allows opportunity for free and original expression. The exquisitely beautiful dance of peace, specially created for the dedication ceremony at Canberra, and performed by a Korean professor, achieved what only creative art can do: it appealed to the emotions and the imagination.
How could this dance fire people's aspiration and imagination - ours and all who viewed it? It signified the relationship between our two peoples; it suggested that the human potential could be devoted to creating rather than to destroying. The design of the memorial also appeals to the imagination. It reflects a significant shift from militarism to the contemplation of the unique, united effort of 21 nations and the sacrifice of 339 Australians' lives to preserve liberty. The rocks from the battlefield were thoughtfully incorporated in the design to symbolise the site of the war and the considerable sacrifice of blood that was made on those rocks, on those hills in Korea."
1 General Paik's distinguished service is summed up in the following extract from the jacket of his book in English "From Pusan to Panmunjorn" which has a foreward by Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway and Gen. James A. Van Fleet, published in 1992 by Brassey's, New York. General Paik was "the foremost ROK general of the Korean War. Commander of the Republic Of Korea Army's 1st Division - the unit that seized the centre of Pyongyang. One of the heroes of the defense of Pusan. Twice recipient of his country's highest military award. The ROK Army's first four-star general... "
Never Again! ... Browse the Links ... Never Again!
- A VETERAN's Blog -