Plaque honoring war sacrifices unveiled at Korea Military Academy
A plaque to honor the sacrifices made by the United States Military Academy (USMA) class of 1947 in the 1950-53 Korean War was unveiled Friday at the Korea Military Academy (KMA) in Nowon District, northern Seoul.
Installed near the KMA’s Memorial Tower, the memorial plaque follows previous plaques placed for the USMA classes of 1948, 1949 and 1950. The KMA plans to install three more by 2023 for the USMA classes of 1945, 1946 and 1951 in the same garden, which is a dedicated memorial park for USMA graduates who fell in the Korean War.
Twelve graduates of the USMA class of 1947 fell in the Korean War. All 12 names were inscribed on the plaque unveiled on Friday during a ceremony hosted by the KMA and sponsored by the Korea Defense Veterans Association (KDVA).
The ceremony was attended by Gen. Choi Byung-hyuk, chief vice president of the KDVA-Korea chapter; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Lee Seo-young, president of the KDVA-Korea Chapter; Lt. Gen. Kim Jeong-soo, president of the KMA; Major Gen. Patrick Matlock, assistant chief of staff for operations of the United Nations Command, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea; Lee Seong-choon, director-general of the Seoul regional office of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs; and Han Byung-wook, business team leader of the Korea JoongAng Daily.
“We will forever be thankful to the U.S. soldiers and officers who kept this country free and those serving even now who continue to strengthen our mutual alliance,” said Lt. Gen. Lee, who spoke at the unveiling of the plaque. “We must always remember the words on the Korean War Memorial in Washington: ‘Freedom is not free.’”
Major Gen. Matlock, who spoke after Lee, highlighted the significance of the shared wartime sacrifice borne by South Korea and the United States and the contribution of USMA graduates to the defense of South Korea.
“These twelve young men graduated from West Point with a commitment to the ideals of honor, duty and country,” Matlock said, referring to the USMA motto. “Their commitment brought them here to Korea, where they not only led their soldiers, but also stood shoulder to shoulder with the military members of the Republic of Korea [ROK].”
Matlock continued, “This shared sacrifice is the foundation of the prosperity and freedom that followed. Even today, this sacrifice is the cornerstone of the ironclad ROK-U.S. alliance. It is a sacrifice we can never forget.”
BY MICHAEL LEE [email@example.com]