THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
October 23 2010
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today acknowledged the contribution of more than 17,000 Australians who served in the Korean War in the 1950s.
A service was held at the Australian National Korean War Memorial, Canberra to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and Australia’s participation in operations in Korea as part of a United Nations force.
The commemorative service was attended by the Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, current Defence Force chiefs, veterans and their families.
“Australian men and women came to the aid of the South Korean people at a time when our nation was still in shock from the Second World War,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses endured extreme conditions in their efforts to over-turn a determined opponent, forging another chapter in Australia’s military history of honour, mateship and courage.
“Today was an opportunity to pay tribute to the 300 Australians killed and 44 missing in action and remember the families and loved ones they left behind.”
Many of those killed in action are buried at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Pusan, Korea, which has undergone a $75,000 restoration this year funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Overseas Privately-Constructed Memorials Restoration Program.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has also released a new edition of the book Out in the Cold
– Australia’s involvement in the Korean War 1950–53 to coincide with commemorations and highlight the service of Australians in the conflict.
These are part of a range of activities being undertaken by the Australian Government to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
The Korean War commenced on 25 June 1950 and the first Australians, airmen of the RAAF’s 77 Squadron, began combat operations in Korea on 2 July. For more information on Australia’s involvement in the Korean War visit the Australian War Memorial website (http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/korea.asp).
For more information on activities to mark the anniversary visit the DVA website (http://www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/commemorations/Pages/RememberingtheKoreanWar. aspx).
Media inquiries: Chloe Wootten 0413 994 704 (DVA Media)