Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 in News

The service and sacrifice of veterans of the Korean War was honoured today at a special ceremony at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Premier John Brumby and the Minister Assisting with Veterans’ Affairs, Tony Robinson were joined by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Dr Woosang Kim and Victorian veterans at a service marking 60 years since the start of the Korean War (1950-1953).

Mr Brumby said the ceremony honoured the courage of our Korean War veterans, keeping the memory of their spirit alive so their legacy would always be remembered.

“While many of us are familiar with World War I and World War II, the Korean War has often been referred to as the Forgotten War,” Mr Brumby said.

“But we will never forget the 17,000 Australians who served in Korea. Three hundred and thirty-nine Australian soldiers were killed, including 83 Victorians. More than 1,200 Australians were wounded and 29 were taken as prisoners-of-war.

“Their service and sacrifice in defence of democratic values deserves our enduring recognition and respect.”

Mr Robinson said the Victorian Government was honouring the veterans’ community by ensuring Victorian students had opportunities to learn about Australia’s military history.

“Last year, ten Victorian secondary school students participated in a study tour of Korea as part of the Premier’s Spirit of ANZAC Prize,” Mr Robinson said.

“They attended an ANZAC Day dawn service in Seoul and visited significant military sites including Kapyong, Maryang San and Busan, where they saw how Koreans continue to acknowledge those who came to fight in defence of their freedom.

“As the next generation learns more about our war history, the sacrifices of our veterans will never be forgotten.”

The Korea War originated in the closing phases of the Second World War, when the United States and the Soviet Union divided responsibility for the country at the 38th parallel.

By 1950, two hostile armies had massed along the border, and on 25 June, North Korean army finally crossed into the southern zone and advanced towards the capital Seoul.

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