27 July 2013 saw veterans gathering to remember a bloody and brutal conflict which was brought to an abrupt cessation 60 years ago through the signing of an armistice between North Korea and South Korea. The armistice was signed with the understanding that a final peaceful settlement, to date elusive, would be sought.

Here is a short photoessay of photos taken during the recent Korean War Veterans Remembrance Service at the beautiful memorial located at Sydney’s Moore Park.

The history of the armistice itself is telling. Neither the American Officer not the North Korean Officer who signed on behalf of each belligerent side spoke one word during the exchange. Neither shook hands, nor was there ever any intent to do so. As one of the last remnants of the Cold War (that is, up until this week’s rebuttal of Russia by Obama), it stands as a constant reminder that peace must be pursued in our world, and that more often than not our political process to achieve that outcome is flawed and inadequate. The United States first compromised the armistice in the late 1950s by unilaterally deploying atomic weapons onto the Korean peninsula. Since that time, and as recently as this year, North Korea has torn up the armistice no less than six times in an attempt to find a way past deadlocked negotiations.

A picture tells a thousand words. It was a day of beautiful weather attended by a wonderful gathering, with representative from many of the countries that formed the United Nations Command. Worth noting was the presence of students from nine local schools who together with dancers from the Darimjul Korean Culture Academy helped to make the day special. Lest we forget.

audience assembles prior to service beginning
Audience assembles prior to service beginning
Brigadier Bridie AM, representing the Australian Defence Force, salutes during Last Post
Brigadier Bridie AM, representing the Australian Defence Force, salutes during Last Post. Brigadier Bridie’s uncle was killed during a combat mission flown in Korea as part of the Royal Australian Air Force 77 Squadron.
Bugler, Able Musician Samantha Eimer from the Royal Australian Navy Band- Sydney
Bugler, Able Musician Samantha Eimer from the Royal Australian Navy Band- Sydney
Bugler sounds Last Post
Bugler sounds Last Post
Darimjul Korean Culture Academy at the ceremony
Darimjul Korean Culture Academy at the ceremony
crowd assembled for ceremony
A large crowd assembled for the service
Darimjul Korean Culture Academy
Darimjul Korean Culture Academy
French representative deep in contemplation
French representative deep in contemplation
Darimjul Korean Culture Academy celebrate Korean culture
Darimjul Korean Culture Academy celebrate Korean culture
Henry Mahood laying a wreath on behalf of Mrs Olwyn Green OAM for widows and families of veterans
Henry Mahood laying a wreath on behalf of Mrs Olwyn Green OAM for widows and families of veterans
Korean national anthem
Korean national anthem
Korean community lays wreath
Korean community lays wreath
Korean veterans at the ceremony
Korean veterans at the ceremony
Korean society of sydney lays wreath
Mr Kim, the outgoing President of the Korean Society of Sydney lays wreath
korean veterans Mr Paik and Mr Lee lay wreaths
Korean veterans Mr Paik and Mr Lee lay wreaths
Korean veterans laying a wreath
Korean veterans laying a wreath
Korean veterans prepare their flowers before the ceremony
Korean veterans prepare their flowers before the ceremony
Korean War memorial after wreath laying
Korean War memorial after wreath laying
Korean war memorial stone
Korean war memorial stone
leaders of tomorrow remember korea
Leaders of tomorrow remember Korea
Major Charles Casuscelli RFD MP welcome the assembly
Major Charles Casuscelli RFD MP welcome the assembly
Major Matt Jones briefs students prior to service
Major Matt Jones briefs students prior to service
Major Matt Jones opens the service
Major Matt Jones opens the service
Major Matt Jones gives briefing prior to service
Major Matt Jones gives briefing prior to service
Mr Gerry Burke looking distinguished amongst the audience
Mr Gerry Burke looking distinguished amongst the audience
Mr Harry Park lights incence prior to the service
Mr Harry Park lights incence prior to the service. His brother was killed fighting for Korea during the Korean War before he was born. Harry is a veteran of the Vietnam War where he was wounded twice.
Mr Greg Makutu QSM lays wreath for New Zealand Consul General
Mr Greg Makutu QSM lays wreath for New Zealand Consul General
Mr Harry Spicer OAM address the assembly
Mr Harry Spicer OAM address the assembly
Mr Harry Spicer OAM guest speaker at the ceremony
Mr Harry Spicer OAM guest speaker at the ceremony
Mr Harry Spicer OAM delivers the address
Mr Harry Spicer OAM delivers the address
Mr Ian Henderson lays a wreath representing Returned and Services League
Mr Ian Henderson lays a wreath representing Returned and Services League
Mr Theo Arfaras lays wreath for French community
Mr Theo Arfaras lays wreath for French community
Mr Philip Morrice lays wreath for British community
Mr Philip Morrice lays wreath for British community
not forgotten, a new generation remembering our veterans
Not forgotten, a new generation remembering our veterans
Mrs Fiona Pereira from St Andrews Public School lays wreath
Mrs Fiona Pereira from St Andrews Public School lays wreath
Pastor Bob Durbin opens with prayer
Pastor Bob Durbin opens with prayer
not forgotten, we remember
Not forgotten, we remember
Reprresentatives of the Ethiopian Community pays respect
Reprresentatives of the Ethiopian Community pay respect
students line the memorial
Students line the memorial
stundents lay chrysanthemum flowers on memorial stone
Students lay chrysanthemum flowers on memorial stone. Two memorial stones, both quarried from Kapyong, sit divided along the path which runs through the memorial.
stundents provide an honour guard
Students provide an honour guard
The Hon Byung Jo Min, Acting Consul General for the Republic of Korea pays his respects
The Hon Byung Jo Min, Acting Consul General for the Republic of Korea pays his respects
The Hon Byung Jo Min, Acting Consul General for the Republic of Korea response on behalf of Korea
The Hon Byung Jo Min, Acting Consul General for the Republic of Korea response on behalf of Korea
The Hon Byung Jo Min, Acting Consul General for the Republic of Korea addresses the ceremony
The Hon Byung Jo Min, Acting Consul General for the Republic of Korea addresses the ceremony
The Hon Mrs Kesanee Palanuwongse, Thai Deputy Consul General lays wreath on behalf of Thai Consul General
The Hon Mrs Kesanee Palanuwongse, Thai Deputy Consul General lays wreath on behalf of Thai Consul General
two flags, one strong friendship
Two flags, one strong friendship
The Hon Ms Anne Jalando-on Louis Filipino Consul General lays wreath
The Hon Ms Anne Jalando-on Louis Filipino Consul General lays wreath
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