By Pfc. Song Chang-do, 8th U.S. Army Public AffairsDecember 3, 2009
SEOUL, Republic of Korea -- The 59th memorial ceremony for former 8th U.S. Army Commander Gen. Walton H. Walker took place in Seoul, Dec. 3, to pay tribute to his sacrifice and courage during the Korean War.
The ceremony was held in the middle of the street near Dobong Subway Station, the site where Walker was killed in a jeep accident in 1950.
Many Korean War veterans and U.S. and Republic of Korea Soldiers attended the ceremony, including veterans who fought together with Walker. They mourned during the ceremony, recalling the Korean War 58 years ago when they were fighting at the last line of defense at the Naktong River.
"Only 58 years ago, we were in a time of despair and General Walker saved us from the crisis at the last fort of Naktong River," said Kim Ri-Jin, chairman of the Memorial Foundation of the late Gen. Walker. "We are here to remember the sacrifices General Walker and other Soldiers have made. Their great achievement will be remembered in eternity."
Walker served as the commanding general of 8th U.S. Army in the Korean War in 1950. With United Nations forces under seige, Walker turned the dire situation around, retreating his Soldiers behind the Naktong River and forming a defense parameter that prevented South Korea's defeat and made the Incheon landing possible.
On Dec. 23, 1950, Walker was killed in a jeep accident. He was posthumously promoted to four-star general and buried with full military honors at Arlington National Ceremony on Jan. 22,1951.
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert A. Winzenried, the Command Sergeant Major for U.S. Forces Korea, Combined Forces Command and 8th U.S. Army, spoke at the ceremony.
"When the outcome of the war was uncertain, he is one of our Army's most storied combat leaders, and his battle command is still studied today by the Army as the model of true courage," said Winzenried.
In honor of Walker, Dobong-gu District Mayor Choi Sun-Kil announced the establishment of the Walton Harris Walker monument near Dobong Subway Station in Seoul to mark the site of the general's death. The monument pays tribute to the general and serves as a reminder of those who defended Korea.
"On the wall of the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., these words are inscribed, 'Freedom is not free,'" said Winzenried. "We all strive to honor the sacrifice General Walker and other Soldiers have made by doing our duty everyday and standing for freedom, no matter where we serve."