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Billboards highlight Korean War heroes in New York’s Times SquareBy Ji Da-gyum
Published : April 20, 2023 - 15:19
Korean War heroes will be featured on giant billboards in the heart of Times Square in New York from Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of the South Korea-US alliance and the 1953 armistice agreement that brought about a cessation of the war on the Korean Peninsula.
A 30-second video features 12 high-profile US and South Korean veterans who have been recognized for their distinguished military service during the 1950-53 Korean War, South Korea’s Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs said Thursday in the run-up to President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the US from April 24 to 29.
The video will run both on the giant outdoor billboards of Samsung Electronics and LG around 680 times per day, round the clock until May 3.
The veteran ministry and the South Korea-US Combined Forces Command chose Korean War heroes who greatly contributed to protecting the freedom and democracy of South Korea and played a pivotal role in solidifying the South Korea-US alliance in its 70-year history.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who served as the commander of the United Nations forces that fought with South Korea against North Korea and led “Operation Chromite” which changed the course of the 1950-53 Korean War, was among the veterans chosen.
The campaign is intended to “express gratitude and honor the great dedication of both South Korean and American veterans ... and to convey the message of continuing the ironclad South Korea-US alliance,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The Freedom, prosperity, and peace that the Republic of Korea enjoys today were achieved through the sacrifices of American heroes who came from afar,” the video which will be aired on the billboards of Samsung Electronics and LG read, referring to South Korea by its official name.
“The United States and the Republic of Korea will forever remember the sacrifices and dedication of Korean War heroes.”
The war heroes include US Air Force Col. Dean Elmer Hess, who helped evacuate around 950 war orphans from Seoul to southern Jeju and was a trainer of South Korean pilots, and Army Col. Ralph Puckett Jr., who led the 8th Army Ranger Company was also featured in the video. Korean American Army Col. Kim Young-oak who commanded a South Korean guerrilla unit and also took part in the UN forces’ final drive into the north is selected.
The video also honors two US father-son pairs -- Gen. James Alward Van Fleet, commander of the 8th Army, and his son, Air Force Capt. James Alward Van Fleet Jr., who went missing during a B-26 bombing mission, as well as military chaplain William Earl Shaw and his son Navy Lt. William Hamilton Shaw, who was killed in action while leading a patrol of marines.
The South Korean war heroes include Gen. Paik Sun-yup, commander of the 1st Infantry Division which won the victory in the Battle of Tabu-dong, which helped block North Korean troops from breaching the Pusan Perimeter and South Korea’s first four-star general.
South Korea’s Air Force Gen. Kim Doo-man, who achieved 100 sorties for the first time in the history of the Air Force during the Korean War, as well as Army Col. Kim Dong-seok and Marine Corps Col. Park Jung-mo, who played a critical role in operations to retake the capacity city of Seoul also appear in the video.
South Korean Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Park Min-shik said that the sacrifices of war veterans who shed their blood to defend the country’s freedom and democracy has become the foundation of the ironclad South Korea-US alliance.
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