On July 24, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation commemorating the 67th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean war.
Americans were still recovering from the aftermath of WWII when the conflict began in Korea. When freedom and democracy were threatened on the Korean Peninsula two million Americans left the comfort of their homes to put on a uniform and answered their country’s call to duty.
More than three years were spent fighting this bloody battle to stop the expansion of communism on the North Korean Peninsula.
“We pause to remember the uncommon courage and sacrifice of ordinary Americans who fought to defend freedom and protect the values we hold dear,” President Trump said about the historic day.
“Freedom isn’t free,” is displayed on the black granite wall of the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The National Korean War Armistice was signed on July 27,1953 in Panmunjom, a border village inside the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea.
“As we commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, we renew our commitment to the principles of liberty for which our Korean War veterans so valiantly fought. We are eternally grateful for the families that endured the unimaginable sacrifices and heartache of war, and we are thankful for all the men and women who helped change the fate of a nation. The 38 months of bloody warfare represent the honorable legacy of a selfless and courageous generation of American patriots,” said President Donald J. Trump.
During the Korean War tens of thousands of coalition troops from allies around the world fought, bled, died, went missing or spent time in captivity. They endured brutal conditions from sweltering heat to bone numbing cold and deep snow that buried the valleys and rugged ridgelines.
They were tried and tested in unnamed and unfamiliar places, some known only with grid coordinates or hilltop elevations. They also took a stand at places such as Pork Chop HIll, Heartbreak Ridge, Chipyong-ni, Pusan and the Chosin Reservoir.
During this war more than 36,000 Americans gave their lives. More than 103,000 were wounded and nearly 8,000 went missing in action.
North Korea continues to be problematic. They were displaying provocative behavior in 2017 and 2018, pushing the U.S. close to the brink of war. A recent interview with Retired Gen. Robert Brown highlights the tensions that were forming,
“In my 38 years in uniform—18-plus of which were in the Pacific—no question, it’s the closest we came to war with North Korea. As USARPAC commander, I was responsible for training, preparing, and logistically supporting the forces’ Eighth Army would fight with on the peninsula.”
In June 2018 President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reached a framework to begin steps towards peace, including the U.S. President personally stepping over the demilitarized zone.
They also signed a historic agreement to transfer human remains from U.S. or allied troops that were still in Korea, a move seen as positive momentum for North Korea’s change in behavior and a gesture to the many veterans still alive from that conflict and the families of those who died .
South Korea has survived the decimation and aftermath of war and is now a prosperous democratic ally of the U.S.
“Our armed forces continue to proudly serve side-by-side with our Korean military counterparts. This ironclad alliance, forged in war and reinforced by a shared love of liberty and deep ties of friendship, is vital to peace and stability in both Asia and the world, said Trump.