By Staff Sgt. Monik PhanJuly 28, 2017
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (July 10, 2017) - The city of Osan held the Task Force Smith 67th memorial ceremony July 6 at the UN Forces First Battle Memorial at Osan City, South Korea.
The memorial service serves as a venue to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by the Soldiers of Task Force Smith, said Nam Kyung-pil, Gyeonggi Province governor.
"Task Force Smith's dedication to duty and country in the face of overwhelming odds waived the foundation of service and courage that enabled the ROK/U.S. alliance to ultimately reclaim the entirety of South Korea," said Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, Eighth Army commanding general.
Distinguished guests such as the Eighth Army commanding general, the Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the Mayor of Osan city, the governor of Gyeonggi Province, and a National congressman presented their memorial speeches during the ceremony.
Task Force Smith was the first U.S. Army ground maneuver unit to enter combat with North Korea. The Battle of Osan was comprised of 540 U.S. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, and 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, 24th Infantry Division. They were led by Lt. Col. Charles B. Smith, 1st Battalion, 21st Regiment, 24th Infantry Division commanding officer.
"Because of the sacrifices made by these Soldiers, who shed blood to protect the Republic of Korea, and the strong alliance between Korea and the U.S., we have been able to achieve outstanding economic success, and can now enjoy peace in this country," said Nam.
"The bravery of those men who fought in the battle of Osan ensured the combined allied force would retain a stronghold on the pen and set the stage for the Incheon landing," said Vandal.
After the memorial speeches, the distinguished guests each paid tribute by placing one white flower on the memorial. They were followed by the war veterans from Task Force Smith and citizens of Osan city.
"We are certain that Jukmi-ryeong peace park will be the place to represent war and peace so that not only the Soldiers who sacrificed themselves in the battle but also the worldwide 6.52 Korean war veterans and their families, citizens in the world who love peace and freedom will visit," said Kwak Sang-wook, the mayor of Osan city.
A silent prayer for the fallen Task Force Smith's Soldiers signified the ending of the ceremony.
"I'm thankful for everyone here who came to remember Task Force Smith and celebrate the birth of an alliance that was forged on this very battlefield," said Vandal. "I continue to see Task Force Smith's determination and commitment in our combined joint forces everyday as we prepare to defend the Republic of Korea against DPRK aggression now and in the future. It is a testament to their legacy and sacrifice. Rest assured this alliance is ready to fight tonight to defend the Republic of Korea and will continue to ensure the security and stability of the Korean peninsula."