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2nd Round of Revisit Korea Program was held view
2nd Round of Revisit Korea Program was held
Date 2010-05-04 오후 1:46:47 View 1650

◈ 170 veterans from 4 countries to revisit Korea ◈
◈ Daniel Keenan, war orphan to come back to Korea

The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs (Minister Yang KIM) held the second round of Revisit Korea Program for UN Korean War veterans from four countries including the US, Turkey, Columbia and Ethiopia. The event was carried out for five nights and six days from April 26 to May 1. A total 170 veterans and their family members came to Korea and visited battlefields where veterans fought against the North Korean invaders, war monuments, the Seoul National Cemetery and the War Memorial.

Lee Hong-koo, co-Chairman of the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee presented a Thank-you poster frame to all veterans to express the deepest gratitude to them for sacrifice and devotion they had shown during the Korean War.

Among 21 UN allied nations, the United States of America dispatched the largest number of troops of 1.8 million and suffered casualties of 137,000 soldiers including 37,000 deaths.

What adds more significance to this program is the fact that Daniel Keenan who was adopted to an American family after being born between a Korean mother and an US soldier came back to Korea through this Revisit Korea Program. Hugh Keenan, then US naval surgeon firstly discovered Daniel in front of the US Army base and took in the baby despite complicated administrative procedures thanks to then-President Nixon’s special consideration. Baby Daniel was taken care of by about 1,000 US naval men at the US aircraft carrier anchored in Incheon sea port.

The touching story of Daniel Keenan was made into a television movie titled ‘A Thousand Men and a Baby` in 1997. Keenan arrived in Korea with two Korean War veterans who took care of him before adoption.

As for Turkey, the blood brother country of Korea has greatly contributed to boost morale of UN forces with distinguished military services in spite of difficulties in communication. Particularly, Turkey successfully fought off offensive operations of Chinese Communist forces in Kimryangjang (currently, Yongin in Gyeonggi Province) battle which awarded Turkey a presidential citation from the US and Korea in 1951 and 1952 respectively.

Columbia is the sole country which has participated in the Korean War among Latin American nations, and suffered 639 casualties out of 5,100 soldiers dispatched. Ethiopia sent about 3,500 royal guards and recorded 650 death tolls.

With the aim of expressing the sincere gratitude to Korean War veterans and offering an opportunity to them to see how remarkable development Korea has made after they left, the MPVA has been inviting veterans of the UN forces and their family members since 1975. About 26,000 people have revisited Korea until 2009. The scale of this program is to be much expanded in 2010 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. The total number of invitees from 21 UN allied nations would reach 2,400 this year who will visit Korea for 11 times from April to November.
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