July 27, 2017: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, go ahead, fly your flag

July 27, 2017

U.S. soldiers and a tank come ashore at Inchon, in the invasion that led to the liberation of Seoul. Though an armistice in the war was achieved, a final resolution has never been negotiated. Image from Pinterest.

U.S. soldiers and a tank come ashore at Inchon, in the invasion that led to the liberation of Seoul. Though an armistice in the war was achieved, a final resolution has never been negotiated. Image from Pinterest.

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation for National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, though the law Congress passed specified it should run only until 2003. There was no proclamation to urge flag flying, however.

You may fly your flag on any day. Many Americans continue to fly flags to honor Korean War veterans on July 27.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
July 26, 2017

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims July 27, 2017, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

NATIONAL KOREAN WAR VETERANS ARMISTICE DAY, 2017

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we honor the patriots who defended the Korean Peninsula against the spread of Communism in what became the first major conflict of the Cold War.  We remember those who laid down their lives in defense of liberty, in a land far from home, and we vow to preserve their legacy.

Situated between World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War has often been labeled as the “Forgotten War,” despite its having claimed the lives of more than 36,000 Americans.  The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korean forces, backed by the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea.  Shortly thereafter, American troops arrived and pushed back the North Koreans.  For 3 years, alongside fifteen allies and partners, we fought an unrelenting war of attrition.  Through diplomatic engagements led by President Eisenhower, Americans secured peace on the Korean Peninsula.  On July 27, 1953, North Korea, China, and the United Nations signed an armistice suspending all hostilities.

While the armistice stopped the active fighting in the region, North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear weapons programs continue to pose grave threats to the United States and our allies and partners.  At this moment, more than 28,000 American troops maintain a strong allied presence along the 38th parallel, which separates North and South Korea.  These troops, and the rest of our Armed Forces, help me fulfill my unwavering commitment as President to protecting Americans at home and to steadfastly defending our allies abroad.

As we reflect upon our values and pause to remember all those who fight and sacrifice to uphold them, we will never forget our Korean War veterans whose valiant efforts halted the spread of Communism and advanced the cause of freedom.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2017, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.  I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor and give thanks to our distinguished Korean War veterans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

At this blog, we urge you to remember what is often called “the forgotten war,” and the veterans of the war, and the sacrifices of those veterans and those who did not return. You may fly your flag if you wish.

January 2016 snowfall added another layer of realism to the Korean Veterans War Memorial on the National Mall. Much of the Korean War was fought in bitter cold and snow. National Park Service photo

January 2016 snowfall added another layer of realism to the Korean Veterans War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Much of the Korean War was fought in bitter cold and snow. National Park Service photo

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National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2015 – fly your flag if you want to

July 27, 2015

Commemoration in 2013: President Barack Obama delivers remarks to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the Korean War, at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Commemoration in 2013: President Barack Obama delivers remarks to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the Korean War, at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Obama issued a proclamation for National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day in 2015, though the law Congress passed specified it should run only until 2003. There was no proclamation to urge flag flying, however.

Presidential Proclamation — National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2015

NATIONAL KOREAN WAR VETERANS ARMISTICE DAY, 2015

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION

Throughout history, the United States has stood as a powerful force for freedom and democracy around the world.  In the face of tyranny and oppression, generations of patriots have fought to secure peace and prosperity far from home.  And in 1950, as Communist armies crossed the 38th parallel just 5 years after the end of World War II, courageous Americans deployed overseas once again to stand with a people they had never met in defense of a cause in which they both believed.  On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we honor all those who sacrificed for freedom’s cause throughout 3 long years of war, and we reaffirm our commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea and the values that unite our nations.

Often outnumbered and outgunned, nearly 1.8 million Americans fought through searing heat and piercing cold to roll back the tide of Communism.  The members of our Armed Forces endured some of the most brutal combat in modern history; many experienced unimaginable torment in POW camps, and nearly 37,000 gave their last full measure of devotion.  Their sacrifice pushed invading armies back across the line they had dared to cross and secured a hard-earned victory.

The Korean War reminds us that when we send our troops into battle, they deserve the support and gratitude of the American people — especially once they come home.  We must make it our mission to serve all our veterans as well as they have served us, always giving them the respect, care, and opportunities they have earned.  And we will never stop working to fulfill our obligations to our fallen heroes and their families.  To this day, more than 7,800 Americans are still missing from the Korean War, and the United States will not rest until we give these families a full accounting of their loved ones.

Today, the Republic of Korea enjoys a thriving democracy and a bustling economy, and the legacy of our Korean War veterans continues on in the 50 million South Koreans who live with liberty and opportunity.  The United States is proud to stand with our partner in Asian security and stability, and our commitment to our friend and ally will never waver — a promise embodied by our servicemen and women who fought from the Chosin Reservoir to Heartbreak Ridge and Pork Chop Hill, and by every American since who has stood sentinel on freedom’s frontier.

No war should ever be forgotten, and no veteran should ever be overlooked.  Today, on the anniversary of the Military Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War, let us remember how liberty held its ground in the face of tyranny and how free peoples refused to yield.  And most of all, let us give thanks to all those whose service and sacrifice helped to secure the blessings of freedom.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2015, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.  I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our distinguished Korean War veterans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

At this blog, we urge you to remember what is often called “the forgotten war,” and the veterans of the war, and the sacrifices of those veterans and those who did not return. You may fly your flag if you wish.

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Power of education

July 20, 2008

Thought provoking post at beauty and depravity, taking note of education achievements in South Korea in the past 50 years or so, and then looking at education world wide:

The education system is what made United States the most influential nation and may be the very thing that will lead to its demise. Unequal access to education – even at the most elementary levels – and the rising costs of college education is a debilitating concern.

If you have the time and the energy, UNESCO’s Global Education Digest [190+ pages] is a great read about the trends and voids in education throughout the world. The UIS Global Education Digest monitors the flows of students moving from the primary to secondary level of education across the world. In Africa, only 62% of pupils complete primary education and are therefore ready to pursue their studies, compared to an average completion rate of 94% in North America and 88% in Asia. According to the latest figures in the Digest:

  • Africa has the lowest primary completion ratios in the world (see Figure 1). In Europe, almost all countries have ratios exceeding 90%. Out of 45 African countries, only eight reach this level: Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Tunisia.
  • In 19 African countries, the ratios are 50% or lower, meaning that at least every second child does not complete primary school.
  • Only about one in three children will complete primary education in six countries: Niger (21%), Guinea-Bissau (27%), Burkina Faso (27%), Chad (32%), Burundi (32%) and Mali (33%).
  • 69% adults of tertiary age are enrolled in tertiary education programmes in North America and Europe, but only 5% in sub-Saharan Africa and 10% in South and West Asia. [Tertiary age = post secondary].

This is why EDUCATION is so important in the battle against global poverty. Another reason is I can’t think of anything more sustainable that empowering, equipping, and enabling children through education.

I’m inclined to agree with much of what this fellow, Eugene Cho says about education (he’s a preacher; his politics, especially what appears to be his association with Republicanism, is troubling, but adds piquance to his education views).

How about you? Go read what he says; comment there, come back here and comment here, too.  Is he on the right track?


Legacy of 1968: USS Pueblo still shadows North Korean relations

June 29, 2008

It’s clear that U.S. relations with North Korea (the Peoples Republic of Korea, or PRK) still suffer from institutional memories of the USS Pueblo incident. For both sides the Pueblo incident remains a sore point from 1968, a very trying year for the U.S. anyway.

PRK was scheduled to detail its nuclear activities in a report last Thursday when I started pondering this issue — part of the continuing negotiations to close down nuclear weapons production in PRK. PRK hoped to get off the U.S. list of “terrorist nations.

Al Jazeera featured this story, below, in September 2007. In addition to footage of the Pueblo, still illegally held by PRK, and used as tourist site and propaganda opportunity, the piece explores the effects of the incident on more recent events, the negotiations to de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

And now we know the rest of the story. PRK delivered the report; Bush announced the nation would be taken off the list of supporters of terrorism.  (Report below from CBS News)

PRK destroyed the cooling towers to their offensive reactor.

And now we’re right back where we were in 1995. Eight years of Bush’s work pushed us backwards 13 years.  Partial compliance by PRK, but the bomb-building project is on hold.

Nuclear non-proliferation mades some strides this last week. Still I can’t help the feeling that January 21, 2009, cannot arrive quickly enough.

Remember the Pueblo veterans. The Pueblo Affair still dogs relations between the U.S. and the PRK, through no fault of the crew of the Pueblo who endured a year of brutal captivity, and then seem to have been forgotten by the nation they served so well.


40th anniversary, capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo

January 28, 2008

On January 28, 1968, Commander Lloyd Bucher and the crew of the U.S.S. Pueblo were confronted by several armed swift boats from North Korea, and after an exchange of gunfire that resulted in the death of one of the Pueblo crew, the North Koreans took the boat and crew captive.

1968 was a dramatic and mostly bad year for the U.S. The 11-month saga of the crew in captivity often gets lost from accounts of the year.

Among other reasons I track these events, the crewman pulled a series of hoaxes on their North Korean captors that, I believe, helped lead to their release.


Writing the history texts: What is history?

October 29, 2007

History textbook controversies abound, really. Just a list to pull some sources together:


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