Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Korean War Armistice 60th Anniversary: As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 27, 2013

Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Korean War Armistice 60th Anniversary: As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 27, 2013

Article excerpt

Thank you, Admiral Winnefeld, and thank you for your service. And of all of our men and women in uniform and their families here today, thank you for your service. Mr. President, and distinguished guests. I want to add a special welcome and acknowledgement to our Korean War veterans who helped bring peace and security to the peninsula before and after the war, and to their families: thank you all for your service and your great sacrifice.

Korean War veterans stepped forward at a defining time in our history --when we were beginning to understand, as Franklin Roosevelt said in his fourth Inaugural Address, that "we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent upon the well-being of other nations, far away."

That reality was brought home when Communist armies crossed the 38th parallel in 1950.

As President Eisenhower later put it--we must and we did--we met this aggression "not with pathetic words of protest, but with deeds of decisive purpose." America's armed forces liberated millions of people from tyranny. We stood with our fellow citizens of the world, even though they lived on the other side of the world. And we did it not alone.

We forged a lasting partnership with the Republic of Korea--one that has endured for more than six decades because of our shared values and shared sacrifice. And we built trust with allies in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Together, we acted out a belief that peace and security among nations must depend upon the rule of law, not the rule of force.

Twenty-two countries contributed military or humanitarian aid under the banner of the United Nations during the Korean War. Their names are rightly inscribed here at this memorial, for they showed the world that different peoples and different nations can accomplish many, many good things for the world when we work together. …

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