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Monks lead the faithful in prayers for soldiers.

Monks lead the faithful in prayers for soldiers. (Kim Ki Sam/Stars and Stripes)

This article first appeared in the Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, June 9, 1958. It is republished unedited in its original form. 

SEOUL — Tiny wisps of white incense smoke curled skyward Friday from the Republic of Korea Armed Forces Cemetery on the banks of the Han River where thousands gathered to honor their war dead.

The mourners, dressed in crisp white traditional costume, wore medals of their fallen sons, husbands and relatives as they burned incense and prayed at the graves of their lost ones.

ROKA Col. Chung Yang Hong explains Memorial Day to his two daughters.

ROKA Col. Chung Yang Hong explains Memorial Day to his two daughters. (Kim Ki Sam/Stars and Stripes)

Services were held throughout Asia's youngest nation in honor of the more than 155,000 who gave their lives to help the Republic of Korea escape the talons of encroaching communism.

ROK President Syngman Rhee and General George H. Decker, UNC/USK/Eighth U.S. Army commander-in-chief, placed wreaths at the tomb of Korea's Unknown Soldier.

A mother weeps for her lost son at the cemetery.

A mother weeps for her lost son at the cemetery. (Don Hausser/Stars and Stripes)

Similarly, other representatives of ROK government agencies and bereaved families laid wreaths at the base of the tomb, a monument to the Republic's determined fight to remain part of the Free World.

Want to read more historic articles from Stars and Stripes? Subscribe to Stars and Stripes’ historic newspaper archive! We have digitized all of our 1948-1999 European and Pacific editions, as well as several of our WWII editions and made them available online through http://starsandstripes.newspaperarchive.com/

President Syngman Rhee places a wreath and observes one minute of silence at the grave of the Unknown Soldier.

President Syngman Rhee places a wreath and observes one minute of silence at the grave of the Unknown Soldier. (Don Hausser/Stars and Stripes)

An old man contemplates the rows of white markers for the dead.

An old man contemplates the rows of white markers for the dead. (Don Hausser/Stars and Stripes)

The honor guard stands at attention during ceremonies.

The honor guard stands at attention during ceremonies. (Don Hausser/Stars and Stripes)

A bugler sounds a call for the dead while a girl arranges flowers at a soldier’s grave.

A bugler sounds a call for the dead while a girl arranges flowers at a soldier’s grave. (Don Hausser/Stars and Stripes)


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