A COMMEMORATIVE service to observe the Korean War ceasefire will be held in Wagga’s Victory Memorial Gardens on Monday.
The annual service, starting at 10.30am and open to the public, will mark the 62nd anniversary of the end of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula.
Korean War veteran, Harry Edmonds, said the war has never officially ended.
Some 17,000 Australians fought in the Korean War and 340 of them were killed.
A number of others are still missing, and the memories of them always feature strongly in Wagga’s Korean War services.
There are just three Korean War veterans left in Wagga - Mr Edmonds, Alan Evans (both 85) and Bob Menzies.
Mr Evans said the number of Korean veterans around Australia was declining rapidly.
“The year before last we had 300 at the reunion in Canberra, and last year 80 turned up,” Mr Evans said.
A number of Korean veterans from other centres, including Alex Ouchirenko from Mildura, Col Anderson from Tumut, John Sullivan from Narrandera and John Laughton from the HMAS Bataan Association, will attend the Wagga service.
The service will include a prayer of remembrance read by chaplain Paddy Sykes and a keynote address by Kildare Catholic College Year 11 students Coen Brand and Grace Rosser.
The Ode of Remembrance will be read by Wagga RSL sub-branch secretary Ken May, followed by the Last Post, a minute’s silence and the Rouse.
There will be an informal cup of tea after the service.
Master of ceremonies for service and RSL sub-branch treasurer, Brian Watts, said he believed many people knew of the Korean War, but few were familiar with the conflict.
“If you asked a lot of kids about Korea they probably could not say much,” Mr Watts said.
“It was not on television like the Korean War was,” Mr Evans said.
The Korean War began in June, 1950, with the invasion of South Korea by communist North Korea.
The North Koreans were on the verge of victory until the intervention of United Nations forces, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
The two Koreas are still technically at war and tensions between the two countries often flare to the point of talk of more military conflict on the troubled peninsula.
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