Eighth Army marks first anniversary of Yeonpyeong Island attack
November 23, 2011
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea (Nov. 23, 2011) -- Eighth Army remembered the Republic of Korea Marines and civilians who died during the North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island during a first anniversary memorial ceremony here Nov. 23.
The ceremony at the Eighth Army headquarters honored Republic of Korea, or ROK, Marines Staff Sgt. Suh Jung-woo and Lance Cpl. Moon Kwang-uk and the two civilians killed in the attack, Kim Chi-baek and Bae Bok-chul.
The ceremony was attended by retired ROK Army Gen. Paik Sun-yup, a Korean War hero who was the ROK Army's first four star general.
In honor of those who died in the defense of freedom, Eighth Army members paid tribute by placing Chrysanthemums and rendering salutes at a memorial.
North Korea fired more than 170 artillery rounds at the island, destroying numerous civilian homes and shops.
Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson assumed command two weeks before the Yeonpyeong Island attack and attended the funeral service for the two Marines on Nov. 27, 2010.
Johnson said the brutal and unprovoked artillery attack on the sovereign South Korean island was another reminder that the Korean War never really ended.
"This provocation reminds us that we must remain vigilant (and) remember the sacrifices of those who defend the Republic of Korea and be ready to deter aggression," said Johnson.
The Eighth Army commanding general also noted this ceremony demonstrates that our fallen heroes will never be forgotten.
In 2010, North Korea also killed 46 Sailors during a torpedo attack on the ROK Ship Cheonan.
"That is why we must continue to maintain our combat readiness in the face of this threat," said Johnson. "We must remember why we are here and our duty to defend the Republic of Korea alongside our ROK allies and we must continue to stay ready to fight and win."