Friendship and gratitude celebrated at the military service park.

It’s now been 60 years since the cease-fire of the Korean War. To commemorate this historical milestone, a Friendship and Gratitude Event was held at the Sedona Military Service Park on June 14, 2013. About 150 people, including 75 veterans, joined the event.

Representatives from the South Korean Ministry of Veterans Affairs, the deputy consul general from the Los Angeles Korean Consulate and the president of the federation of U.S. Korean-American Associations attended to express their gratitude and congratulations. During the ceremony, the National Defense Force Service Command awarded Certificates of Appreciation to the Sedona Korean-American Association and Ilchi Lee, who initiated and supported the Korean War Veterans Memorial project.

In his congratulatory speech, the representative of the South Korean Ministry of Veterans Affairs expressed his gratitude to Korean War Veterans. He said, “Thanks to your sacrifice and devotion, a devastated country 60 years ago has now become a country that accomplished a mature liberal democracy with remarkable economic growth. The government of the Republic of Korea will transfer the mind of gratitude to the growing generation and educate them to pay it back by contributing to peace and freedom everywhere in the world.”

The event included a photo exhibition that showed the pictures of Korea during and right after the Korean War 60 years ago, as well as pictures of Korea now. The difference was striking and rewarding, especially to the Korean War veterans who witnessed and experienced Korea during the war. Korean War veterans said their sacrifices were not wasted.

Banya Lim, president of Sedona Korean-American Association said, “We are glad that our effort to enhance understanding and friendship between the two cultures was recognized by both the local community and the Korean government. We gladly accept this as a request for the Sedona Korean-American Association to take more responsibility for the good of the community.”

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