Events

[2020-07-05] Remarks on the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Osan

By 2020년 7월 6일 7월 9th, 2020 No Comments
Source: Osan City

Chairman Ban attended the 70th annual memorial ceremony on the 5th of July, to honor the UN forces that were killed in the Battle of Osan, during the Korean War. The Osan Battle was one of the first ground battles when the Korean War broke out in 1950. The U.S. special force ‘Task Force Smith’ fought under the UN flag to block the North from heading south.

 

The UN Forces First Battle Memorial was established in 2013 to commemorate this battle and is located in Osan City, Gyeonggi-do. Other attendees of this event were Minister Park Sam-deuk of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Ministry, Gyeonggi-do Governor Lee Jae-Myung, U.S. Ambassador Harry Harris, General Robert Abrams of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command. Special guests as General Yoon Seung-kook, who was a liaison officer for the Task Force Smith during the Battle, and 1st Sergeant Andrew Foxworthy, grandson of one of the Task Force members, were also present.

Source: Osan City

“The sons and daughters of the United States answered the call to defend a Country they never knew and a People they never met,” quoted Chairman Ban in his speech. During the Korean War, which Chairman Ban has lived through, many U.S. soldiers were wounded, captured, missing or killed. The engagement of U.S. and UN Forces has saved Korea 70 years ago, and its presence continues to be of support to sustaining peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. Peace and security spread the freedom and prosperity on Korea, and thus it is important that the peaceful state built on the sacrifice of many innocent lives continue to be safeguarded.

 

“The US-ROK alliance is the bedrock of security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Full stop,” he stressed. Chairman Ban concluded his speech by reaffirming the special relationship between Korea and the U.S. and hoped for enduring peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula based on this bond and mutual respect.

 

Below is the transcript of his speech:

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your warm introduction.

 

Minister Park Sam-deuk of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Ministry, Governor Lee Jae-Myung of Kyung-gi Province, Ambassador Harry Harris of the United States, General Robert Abrams of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, Mayor Kwak Sang-wook of Osan City,

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great honor to join you here today to solemnly commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Osan.

 

And it is my privilege to deliver these remarks at such an important juncture for the US-ROK alliance. I believe this occasion beckons us to not only mark the shared sacrifices of the last 70 years, but also simultaneously deepen our unshakable bonds for the next 70 years and beyond.

 

We have two special guests today; General Yoon Seung-kook played a very important role as liaison officer for the Task Force Smith during the Battle of Osan, and 1st Sergeant Andrew Foxworthy, Grandson of Louis Patterson, who was one of the Members of the Task Force Smith.

 

I take this opportunity to show my sincere appreciation to the City of Osan for organizing this landmark event and extending an invitation to me.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

As someone who lived through the Korean War, I am still haunted by the consequences and aftermath of the conflict. I am also eternally grateful for the sacrifices and bravery of our American allies in support of Korea and its people.

 

During three years of Korean War, about 134,000 US soldiers were killed, wounded, captured, or missing. And, as commemorated by the poignant engraving at the Korean War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, “the sons and daughters of the United States answered the call to defend a Country they never knew and a People they never met.”

 

Indeed, the quick engagement of UN/US Forces not only saved Korea in its time of dire need 70 years ago, its presence has continued to both support and sustain peace and security on the Korean Peninsula ever since. And it began here in Osan.

 

This, in turn, helped propel the freedom and prosperity of the Republic of Korea over the last 70 years.

 

As such, I firmly believe that the peace and security that was brought to the Korean Peninsula by our US allies and the UN Security Council—at the cost of many innocent lives—must continue to be safeguarded by all stakeholders.

 

We should continue to pursue peace and security through military preparedness alongside sustained and smart diplomacy. We have an obligation to do this for the memory of our fallen forefathers, including the over 150 killed, wounded, or missing Americans in the Battle of Osan, as well as for the success of our future generations.

 

The US-ROK alliance is the bedrock of security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Full stop. This fact must never be overlooked nor minimized.

 

As a Korean War veteran of the United States rightly mentioned, the Korean War is not a forgotten war, but just a forgotten victory, in the sense that thanks to the timely   assistance of the UN and US forces, Koreans could build a nation based on liberal democracy, market economy, and the rule of law as well as the respect of human right.

 

We Koreans shall never forget American sacrifices for the noble causes of freedom and democracy. Please know that.

 

It is my great hope that this special relationship and our strong bonds—forged both in blood and mutual respect—will not only be maintained, but further solidified to help ensure lasting peace and prosperity on the Peninsula.

 

I salute your service and thank you for your attention.