MacArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles was filled with Korean War veterans Oct. 13 as the U.S. and Korea Alliance Association gathered international and American leaders to honor the sacred contribution made by those veterans nearly 60 years ago.
Patriots and Veterans Affairs Sung Choon Park in front of the General Douglas MacArthur memorial.
Both American and Korean veterans of the war were on hand, all of whom were proud of their accomplishments and acutely aware of its importance.
“Because you fought for freedom and justice, Korea is now a beacon of democracy,” said Former Republic of Korea Prime Minister Un-Chan Chung.
United States Army Gen. B. B. Bell, former commander, UNC/CFC/USFK was particularly poignant, talking of a promise he made to his Korean born adoptive granddaughter Jin Hui Bell.
“I promised her that we will together walk across the DMZ in a unified Korea,” Bell said. “This will happen in my lifetime!”
The solemnity of the occasion was punctuated by the moving performance of the Global Messiah Women’s Choir and the Children’s Choir, who performed in the stately lobby of the Park Plaza Hotel (host of the event) and by the rousing performance of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., both at the memorial and inside the hotel.
Approximately 2,000 veterans and family members, and dignitaries made up the crowd in the park and inside the hotel, all of whom were appreciative of the event and thankful for the support and that their efforts are still honored.
“Our nation only exists as a free society because of the sacrifices made by American military personnel and we must honor that sacrifice made more than 60 years ago,” said Alliance President Dr. Chuck Rheem. “Commemorating the selfless and valiant acts of courage performed by American veterans is both a way to say ‘thank you’ and to draw our two nations even more closely together.”