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Korean War Veterans Armistice Day July 27


National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day is observed each year on July 27th. It is a time to remember as many as 50,000 American troops who died in the conflict (official sources vary on the actual number), and over 100,000 wounded, and thousands of prisoners of war.


Each year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation announcing July 27th as a day of national observance in honor of Korean War veterans and their families. There are observances of this day on military bases, at military cemeteries such as Arlington National Cemetery, and more informal observances held in America, South Korea, and elsewhere.


A Brief History Of The Korean War

Korea was, at one time, a united peninsula with no divisions between North Korea and South Korea. One of the agreements made during World War Two was between the United States and the Soviet Union; the U.S.S.R. would declare war on Japan.


Japanese forces had colonized Korea in a harsh campaign and occupation in the early 20th century; when the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, it liberated the portion of the country that would become North Korea.


U.S. forces in World War Two withdrew to the 38th parallel. This set the stage for later Cold War tensions; the United States would be at odds with Russia in West Germany (resulting in the Berlin Airlift and subsequent arms race and containment activities) and in Korea as a result of this division of the country.


These two examples are similar in one important Cold War-era geopolitical respect; in both cases there was a communist and authoritarian government in charge opposing U.S. presence in their respective areas.


For East Germany, also known formally as German Democratic Republic, communist and authoritarian rule stretched between 1949 and 1990. The fall of the Berlin Wall was the symbolic end of the Cold War, at least Germany’s involvement in it as a divided nation. The Koreans would not be so fortunate.


Photo: National Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C.