WAEGWAN, South Korea - U.S. and Republic of Korea service members participated in a Korean War battle re-enactment and memorial ceremony Sept. 24-26, 2014 in honor of those who fought in the Nakdong River Battle here.
The Nakdong River Battle was a victory for South Korean and American forces in defense of the Busan Perimeter during the Korean War. Forces were able to thwart the advancing North Koreans by intentionally destroying a bridge which could have been used by the advisories to further their advance south to Daegu.
The three day event offered hollywood like battle scenes with pyrotechnics, military tactical vehicles and equipment. Spectators also had a chance to meet with U.S. and ROK forces as they displayed their modern military equipment.
With the opportunity to see history being played out during the realistic re-enactment and a chance to show off military might, one AH-64 Longbow Apache helicopter pilot was thankful for the privilege and was left in awe.
"To be honest, I was blown away," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andrew Chamberlain with the Company A, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. "The shear combat maneuvering coordination and the technical expertise the ROK showed today was just mind blowing. Everything was in sequence down to the second."
Chamberlain, a native of Live Oak, Fla. flew his aircraft to the event to display alongside equipment of the 2nd Inf. Div and the Korean military.
For Chamberlain, participating in this event really brought it home for him.
"It brings me a lot of pride, said Chamberlain. "My grandfather fought here as a Marine fighter pilot during the Korean War. To be able to keep that handshake from generation to generation with the Koreans and U.S. Soldiers is a pretty cool thing."
Thousands of South Koreans were in attendance for the re-enactment and ceremony. They also spent a lot of time looking, touching and climbing on the military equipment that was on display.
One American Family traveled from Daegu to witness the history of the Nakdong Battle and to see the military equipment on display.
"It was wonderful seeing all the people getting together," said Robert F, Carter, a general engineer with the Defense Logistics Agency and native of Oxnard Calif. "Just to be able to participate in this and see everything happen was just great. It just shows how everything and everyone come together past, present and future."
Carter was accompanied by his wife Migyung and two sons, Shane and Vincent. They were happy to see the aircraft on display. Vincent was very excited to see the aircraft and explained that the Apache was his favorite helicopter. He said "the best thing about the Apache was the machine gun."
The Nakdong River Battle commemoration surely educates the masses on the history of the Korean War. It also serves as a reminder that freedom is not free. The fierce and bloody battle took its toll on the lives of many. The lives of those who surely understood what their actions would mean for future generations.
The 2nd Inf. Div. remains committed to its mission to deter aggression from the north and is prepared to Fight Tonight if that deterrence fails. Reenactments such as this solidify our history ensuring the people never forget the sacrifices made by those who fought and died here.
Former president John F. Kennedy may have said it best for all of us.
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty."