Commemoration speech for the 65th anniversary of the Korean War in a rally for national security
Date: June 24, 2015 Venue: Korea Church 100 Junyeon Memorial Hall
Greetings, everyone! I am Park Won-soon, the Mayor of Seoul. I would like to express my respect and gratitude to the souls of all the fallen heroes and war veterans who sacrificed their lives for the security and peace of Korea. I also would like to give my thanks to the president of the Seoul Veterans Association Park Sung-Young, who held this meaningful rally, and the many other presidents of security groups and their members.
In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Korean War, we today gather together to once again think about the lessons that we have learned from the War and to become more resolute on our national security. Despite the devastating ruin caused by the Korean War, we rose to the challenge and our nation worked to build our current peace and prosperity. We should not forget that we would never have such an honor without the war veterans who showed their courage and willingly died for our country. This year marks the 70th anniversary of liberation and division. Reflecting over the past 70 years, we have learned the hard way that democracy, peace, economic success, and happiness can never exist without strong security and safety. Our history has taught us that no national matter should ever be put before security and that the freedom, happiness, and prosperity that we are enjoying can only exist based on strong security.
We are still unsure, however, that our current level of security is enough to protect our safety. North Korea continues to make unceasing military threats to us through the development of nuclear weapons and missiles. In addition, the MERS crisis has badly affected the Korean economy, which was already in bad shape. All of these issues show us that comprehensive security must be emphasized more heavily. By doing so, we need to act hand-in-hand to more firmly build our security and safety so that future generations never have to experience war and the tragedy of insecurity.
In this context, the first measure the Seoul Metropolitan Government is now taking is to provide appropriate compensation and benefits to those who died while serving the nation and their families and take the lead in upholding their honor. To achieve this, the Seoul Metropolitan Government became the first local government in 2012 to establish the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Comprehensive Plan for Patriots and Veterans and execute it accordingly. At the same time, we continue to promote the importance of security to youth and citizens and support educational programs on security.
Once again, I would like to give thanks and respect to the veterans of the Korean War who sacrificed their lives for the nation and its people. I also wish to deeply thank the security groups, including the Seoul Veterans Association, who spare no effort in serving the nation. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will always keep your courage, sacrifice, and spirit of responsibility in mind.
I would like to close this speech by reassuring Seoul citizens that I will continue do all I can to promptly deal with the MERS crisis and put all my efforts into safekeeping the life and safety of citizens. Thank you.