Thursday, 27 July 2023
70th Anniversary of cessation of Korean War
I am pleased to join you today to mark 70 years since the cessation of the Korean War.
From 1950 to 1953, more than 17,000 Australians served in the conflict, with more than 340 losing their lives – including 12 South Australians.
Despite these statistics, the Korean War has come to be referred to as the ‘forgotten war’ in our nation’s history.
However, its veterans deserve our recognition and appreciation.
In my dual roles as Governor and as patron of RSL South Australia, I am reminded regularly of the service and sacrifice that so many South Australians have made to protect our nation and its way of life.
And I am reminded of the debt our society owes to our servicemen and women, and our veterans.
This time last year, I welcomed South Australian veterans of the Korean War for afternoon tea at Government House, many of whom are here today.
It was my honour to get to know them, to learn about their experiences during the war, as well as those after it, and how their service shaped their lives, long after they had returned home.
In June this year, during a vice regal visit to the Republic of Korea, I visited the National War Memorial in Seoul to lay a wreath, in commemoration of Australian and Korean servicemen and women.
As a career diplomat it was my pleasure to play a role in the development and strengthening of Australia’s ties with Korea, and now as Governor, with South Australia’s relationship.
Today, Australia and Korea are strategic partners with a strong relationship underpinned by shared strategic interests, complementary economies and people-to-people links.
These ties are illustrated by the communities which have been brought together here today for this service.
I thank those who have made the special effort to travel from interstate or overseas to be with us today.
I thank Colonel Peter Scott, of the Korean War Veterans’ Committee, for his role in organising today’s event, as well as my fellow speakers and performers.
To our veterans, again, I thank you for your service, your bravery and courage, for which we remain grateful and, for always, proud.
Lest we forget.