Message from The King to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War

Published

It is our duty to remember what was once called “the Forgotten War”.

The following message was read by The Princess Royal on behalf of The King during a reception held at Buckingham Palace to mark 70 years since the signing of the Armistice which brought an end to the Korean War.

I am delighted that so many of you are able to attend today’s reception, a rather belated gathering, I fear, to mark seventy years having passed since the end of the Korean War. It has been a personal ambition of mine to invite you all, in some form, to Buckingham Palace to recognise this significant milestone and ensure you are all most deservingly honoured for your valiant service over seventy years ago. You might therefore imagine how particularly disappointed and frustrated I am to not be able to join you all in person... I can only hope that you are being well looked after in my absence and I am most grateful to the Princess Royal and the Duchess of Edinburgh for standing in for me.

As you will know all too well, some 60,000 British and 50,000 Commonwealth servicemen and women served in the Korean War, alongside our United Nations Allies.

Thanks to those of you present, and those you fought alongside, the free peoples of the Republic of Korea continue to experience democratic liberty and have proudly preserved peace ever since. This enduring legacy was further

commemorated during the recent Korean State Visit, when President Yoon himself declared that Korea would not have the political freedom, economic prosperity and flourishing culture today, that has extended far beyond its borders, without your bravery all those years ago.

It is our duty to remember what was once called “the Forgotten War”. Next month, like every year, your fellow veterans will meet in Solma-Ri, Gapyeong and Busan to commemorate the Battles of the Imjin and Gapyeong and to remember those who fell in the service of the United Nations Command on the Korean Peninsula. In a world where freedoms are continually being challenged and our values scrutinised, your selfless courage and steadfast pursuit of peace are guiding principles which have not been forgotten and continue to inspire generations to come. We salute all those who remain among us, and offer our most heartfelt and undying gratitude for those who have gone before. Your service and your sacrifice will echo through the ages.”

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