Ceremony held to commemorate 64th anniversary of Korean WarUpdated: 2014-06-25 21:56:32 (KST)
Sixty-four years ago this Wednesday, North Korea launched a surprise attack on South Korea, marking the start of a three-year war that would claim hundreds of thousands of lives.
To commemorate the somber anniversary and those that sacrificed their lives, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs hosted a ceremony at a stadium in the heart of Seoul on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Chung Hong-won used the opportunity to emphasize the importance of a strong military.
"North Korea has been continuously threatening our nation and is still developing its nuclear and missile programs, becoming a great military threat. The security situation is unstable on the peninsula. We acknowledge the situation and will prevent a recurrence of the tragedy that was the Korean War."
Around two million UN troops from 21 different countries put their lives on the line in the war.
Some returned for Wednesday's ceremony, and said they were pleasantly surprised to see how much Korea has developed over the past six decades.
"I look at it now and I just can't believe it. Sixty-four years-- to look and see what you people have done with the freedom that you've won, it's just fantastic."
Other Korean War veterans expressed sadness that their sacrifices were starting to be forgotten.
" Many kids these days don't know about the Korean War. Some are totally oblivious to what happened here. Our government needs to do a better job teaching our history."
Hundreds of thousands of patriots lost their lives to make Korea a free country.
Their sacrifices should never be taken for granted.
"This ceremony not only pays tribute to veterans of the Korean War. It's also a time to remember the hard work South Korean soldiers do today to ensure our freedom.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News."
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