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Breanne McIver, 11, left, and Elizabeth Kunde, 9, bow their heads Friday morning during a prayer at a Memorial Day service on Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. The service remembered all servicemembers killed, especially the 33,870 who died during the Korean War.

Breanne McIver, 11, left, and Elizabeth Kunde, 9, bow their heads Friday morning during a prayer at a Memorial Day service on Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. The service remembered all servicemembers killed, especially the 33,870 who died during the Korean War. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

Breanne McIver, 11, left, and Elizabeth Kunde, 9, bow their heads Friday morning during a prayer at a Memorial Day service on Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. The service remembered all servicemembers killed, especially the 33,870 who died during the Korean War.

Breanne McIver, 11, left, and Elizabeth Kunde, 9, bow their heads Friday morning during a prayer at a Memorial Day service on Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. The service remembered all servicemembers killed, especially the 33,870 who died during the Korean War. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

Servicemembers, veterans, family members and visitors place flowers atop tomes of the names of military members killed during the Korean War during a Memorial Day ceremony at Yongsan Garrison on Friday.

Servicemembers, veterans, family members and visitors place flowers atop tomes of the names of military members killed during the Korean War during a Memorial Day ceremony at Yongsan Garrison on Friday. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

A wreath to honor the memories of those servicemembers killed during the Korean War, part of Memorial Day observances at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea.

A wreath to honor the memories of those servicemembers killed during the Korean War, part of Memorial Day observances at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Military leaders from the United States, South Korea and other nations gathered Friday morning to remember the more than 33,000 U.S. servicemembers killed in the Korean War.

The ceremony also honored servicemembers from other nations killed in the war, as well as all U.S. soldiers, sailors, airman and Marines who died during conflicts.

“I urge you to take time to explain to your children why there is no school on Monday,” Lt. Gen. David P. Valcourt told the crowd, urging them to visit the Korean national museum and say a prayer on Monday, the official U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

Valcourt also thanked the veterans in the crowd, and he remembered a trip he took with Korean War veterans five years ago to a South Korean mountain.

“For many, it was their first time to return,” he said. He recalled them telling him: “‘Now we know why we fought here in this country’ … For them, it was a solemn closure.”

Friday’s short ceremony also was solemn, with a 21-gun salute, a message from both President Bush and South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-woong, a prayer and a moment of silence.

A table held the “Books of Remembrance,” tomes that have the names of all the Americans and others who died during the 1950-53 war. Two Girls Scouts and two Boy Scouts handed out white chrysanthemums for those who wanted to place them on the books.

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