SEONGNAM, South Korea - During the funeral service held here Nov. 27, the 8th Army commanding general paid his respects to the two Republic of Korea Marines killed during North Korea's unprovoked attack on Yeonpyeong Island.

Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, 8th Army commanding general and chief of staff of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea, represented U.S. military forces at the funeral service for ROK Marines Sgt. Seo Jeong-wu and Pfc. Moon Gwang-wuk.

The day was marked by a gentle snow, which Korean custom says represents the soldiers who have gone before, welcoming the two new heroes into their ranks.

Along with other senior ROK-U.S. Alliance leaders, he placed a white Chrysanthemum and saluted the fallen at the shrine for the two Marines.

"These two Marines represented the fighting spirit of the ROK-U.S. Alliance and I came to honor their memory and pay my respects to their families," said Johnson. "Their sacrifice was made in the cause of protecting freedom and these brave heroes of the alliance will not be forgotten."

The North Korean artillery attack also killed two South Korean civilians, injured 16 ROK servicemembers and three civilians and destroyed many houses and buildings.

Johnson emphasized that the ROK-U.S. Alliance remains ready to decisively defeat any threat against South Korea, if necessary.

"As always, our forces are trained and ready to stand with our ROK allies in the defense of Korea, if called on," said Johnson.

The 8th Army commander is using the 8th Army website, Facebook page and Twitter page to keep Soldiers, civilians and family members on the peninsula informed in the aftermath of the attack.