Thursday marks the 64th anniversary of the signing of the agreement that effectively ended the Korean War.
Although the war ended only with a cease-fire, and technically North and South Korea are still at war with one another, July 27 has frequently been commemorated as the end of the war. President Donald Trump revived this tradition with a special proclamation naming Thursday "National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day," vowing the nation would never forget the sacrifices of those who served and died in an effort to protect freedom.
The following is the full text of the president's proclamation:
On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we honor the patriots who defended the Korean Peninsula against the spread of Communism in what became the first major conflict of the Cold War. We remember those who laid down their lives in defense of liberty, in a land far from home, and we vow to preserve their legacy.
Situated between World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War has often been labeled as the "Forgotten War," despite its having claimed the lives of more than 36,000 Americans. The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korean forces, backed by the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea. Shortly thereafter, American troops arrived and pushed back the North Koreans. For three years, alongside 15 allies and partners, we fought an unrelenting war of attrition. Through diplomatic engagements led by President Eisenhower, Americans secured peace on the Korean Peninsula. On July 27, 1953, North Korea, China and the United Nations signed an armistice suspending all hostilities.
While the armistice stopped the active fighting in the region, North Korea's ballistic and nuclear weapons programs continue to pose grave threats to the United States and our allies and partners. At this moment, more than 28,000 American troops maintain a strong allied presence along the 38th parallel, which separates North and South Korea. These troops, and the rest of our Armed Forces, help me fulfill my unwavering commitment as president to protecting Americans at home and to steadfastly defending our allies abroad.
As we reflect upon our values and pause to remember all those who fight and sacrifice to uphold them, we will never forget our Korean War veterans whose valiant efforts halted the spread of Communism and advanced the cause of freedom.
Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2017, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor and give thanks to our distinguished Korean War veterans.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 26 day of July, in the year of our Lord 2017, and of the Independence of the United States of America the 242nd.
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