Each year both America and South Korea observe National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day on July 27. This day was started as a way to commemorate and recognize the peace treaty that triggered a cease-fire in a long-standing war. The Korean War is a significant chapter in American history in which approximately 50,000 American troops died in the conflict, over 100,000 were wounded, and thousands of others were held captive as prisoners of war. On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day we are encouraged to take some moments for reflection on the service and sacrifices of American troops during this conflict.
History of National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
The Korean War lasted for three years — from June June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. The service members of the war had to overcome unique risks and experiences that set them apart from previous generations of veterans. The National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day presents us with the opportunity to remember and honor the service of these men. After being colonized by Japan, the southern part of the Korean peninsula was liberated soon after World War II. With the support of the Soviet Union, communist North Korea invaded democratic South Korea in 1950. In the wake of these events, America deployed troops to support South Korea to keep the land that was truly theirs and protect the nation’s democratic interests. After three years, an armistice was signed and the two Koreas have since then remained divided.
The fighting resulted in more than 36,000 casualties for America and more than 103,000 service members were wounded in action. The US Department of Veterans Affairs says that the extremely cold climates during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign in the winter of 1950 posed serious risks to those serving and accounted for more than 5000 American deaths. The temperatures dipped to 50 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of -100 degrees Fahrenheit! This meant that the Korean War veterans are more likely to face health issues such as trauma to the nervous system, skin, and muscles, vascular conditions, foot-related injuries such as trench foot, frostbite scars, and skin cancer as compared to veterans of other wars. These veterans may have also been exposed to hazardous substances such as asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyl, and ionizing radiation during this long war. These substances are responsible for certain illnesses and cancers long after exposure. In fact, the nature of this exposure can be so serious that may be passed down to the next generations.
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day timeline
Imperial Japan destroys the influence of China over Korea to usher in the short-lived Korean Empire
Guerrillas profess support for the North Korean government in April 1948.
South and North Korea commemorate the end of 35-year Japanese colonial rule.
North Korea’s Korean People's Army forces cross the border and drive into South Korea on 25 June.
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day FAQs
How many Korean War veterans are still alive in 2019?
As many as two million Korean War veterans are still alive as of 2019.
Is there a Korean Veterans Day?
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day or Korean Veterans Day is observed each year on July 27. The day honors the sacrifices of Korean War veterans and their families.
Do Korean War veterans get a pension?
Korean War Veterans may be eligible for a wide variety of benefits available to all American military veterans. These benefits include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial.
How to Observe National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
Donate to organizations
Many organizations help in the treatment and rehabilitation of army veterans. You can either volunteer your time or donate funds to these organizations.
Brush up on your history
Today is a great day to brush up on American history. You can read books, newspaper clippings, or digital archives of the Korean War. Reading is a great way to learn more about the war and the events leading up to it.
Visit a veteran
Do you know a veteran who served in the Korean War? You can take some time off your day to go visit them. Surprise them with a meal or take them out for a movie.
5 Facts About The U.S. Army That Will Blow Your Mind
It’s one of the biggest recruiters
The U.S. Army employs over a million people.
Dogs are an important part of it
Presently, around 500 dogs are serving in the U.S. Army.
It has many military bases
It has 800 military bases and these bases are spread over 74 countries.
The presidents have served, too
As many as 16 U.S. presidents have served in the U.S. Army
The army is older than the country
George Washington created the Continental Army in 1775.
Why National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day is Important
It celebrates American history
The Korean War is an important part of American history. This is a great day to learn more about the country’s rich past and how it continues to affect the present.
A way to say thanks
This is also a day to say thanks to all the brave servicemen who have made the ultimate sacrifice for America. The day recognizes the achievements of veterans and those who continue to serve in the army.
Celebrates international unity
The Korean War celebrates the triumph of democracy. It shows how great nations can come together to protect the rights of their people. National Korean War Armistice Day is ultimately the celebration of a global kinship.
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day dates