Incheon Landing Commemoration - Sept. 15, 2010
September 29, 2010
Minister Kim; Ambassadors and United Nations sending state representatives; Mayor Ahn;General and Flag Officers; And most importantly, the Korean War Veterans assembled here today;
As Commander, United Nations Command, it is a great honor for me to stand before so many veterans of the Korean War as we commemorate a great victory in a war that is still not formally ended after sixty years.
The Incheon landings are considered to be one of the most successful examples of a joint and multinational operation in all of history.
On these shores, Republic of Korea armed forces and amphibious, naval, land, and air forces under the United Nations Command fought and established a beachhead that was the launching point for attacks to retake Seoul, to cut north Korean supply lines, to render communist positions around Busan untenable, to destroy large formations of the north Korean People's Army, and to force it to retreat north of the 38th Parallel.
While paying tribute to the living, we must not forget to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for a free and prosperous Korea. The sacrifices of these fallen and the thousands of other United Nations Command Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines who fought here paved the way for the Republic of Korea to become a democracy and one of the great economic successes of our time.
We honor the past sacrifices of our fallen heroes and veterans by remaining prepared to deter future aggression and provocations. As the recent north Korean attack on the Cheonan reminds us, we must always remain strong and vigilant to ensure that what you brave men and women and those that made the ultimate sacrifice fought for will be protected for future generations.
We call on north Korea to stop all provocations and immediately denuclearize. We, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance pledge to redouble our efforts and pledge to be prepared to deter and defeat any type of provocation from north Korea. The Republic of Korea military is a strong, dedicated, professional force, and I am confident the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance is prepared to defeat any future provocation.
Thank you to all of the ROK and U.S. servicemembers and the UN sending state representatives here today. Thank you also to the Korean people for hosting us and all of the United Nations Command veterans attending. The Korean people's hospitality is one of the reasons why our alliance is strong and has successfully deterred aggression from north Korea for the past sixty years. I pledge to you and all assembled veterans of the Korean War that Republic of Korea and United States will always continue to deter aggression and fight to preserve your freedom should deterrence fail.
We go together! Katchi Kapshida!