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Australia's Korean War Veterans honour their fallen mates



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Sunday, 28 July 2013 VA063

AUSTRALIA'S KOREAN WAR VETERANS HONOUR THEIR FALLEN MATES

A group of Australia's Korean War veterans have visited the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Korea to honour their fallen mates 60 years after the end of hostilities.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Warren Snowdon said that 15 Australian veterans attended an international memorial service at the Cemetery, before visiting some of the Australian war graves themselves.

"The veterans also participated in an international ceremony yesterday marking Korean Veterans Day, taking the opportunity to reflect on the efforts of all those involved in the Korean War - more than 17,000 remarkable Australian men and women, fought to defend South Korea or provided valuable nursing and medical support to the ill and wounded," Mr Snowdon said.

In Korea, the Australian veterans recalled their experiences of the War which saw the loss of 340 Australian lives during the combat phase and a further 18 during the post-armistice period.

"Over the past week the veterans have reflected on some of the defining battles of the Korean War, such as the Battle of Kapyong, the Battle of Maryang San, the Han River Estuary and the Battle of the Hook,” Mr Snowdon said.

"The visit to the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Korea was emotional for the veterans and moving for the young men and women of Australia's Federation Guard who joined them for today's service.

"As they shared stories of their wartime and post-war experiences, the veterans renewed bonds they had forged with their mates here six decades ago, and created new ties to the young men and women in uniform.

"The Korean people the veterans have met during the trip expressed their sincere thanks and great respect for their service 60 years ago.

"While remembering the past, in particular wartime service, can bring back mixed emotions, occasions like today, shared with mates and allies, remind us of the sacrifices made by veterans and allow us all to acknowledge their service.”

Editor’s note: Follow the veterans on Facebook at DVA Aus, Twitter at @dvaaus and Flickr at DVA Aus. Veteran biographies, images, historical background and other resources are available at www.dva.gov.au/media. For trip images visit http://images.defence.gov.au/S20130881. For interviews with veteran representatives contact dale.starr@dva.gov.au +61 (0)428 805 578.

Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203