July 27 marks the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a statement today praising and thanking the Korean War veterans “who stepped forward to serve at a defining time in our history.”
Here is the text of the secretary’s statement:
I am honored to join President Obama and the Korean delegation this weekend at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington as we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.
Korean War veterans stepped forward to serve at a defining time in our history, and they deserve our thanks. They liberated millions of people from tyranny and helped forge a strong and lasting partnership with the Republic of Korea – one that has endured for more than six decades because of our shared values and shared sacrifice.
In remembering the end of the Korean War, we also commemorate the beginning of a new era in the history of the region – a period of unprecedented growth, security, and prosperity.
The United States remains committed to ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. More than 28,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serve in Korea today, and just as Korean War veterans held the line from Pusan to Panmunjom, so too do these current-day defenders stand ready to help guard freedom as well as promote peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and throughout East Asia.