Remembered on 42nd Street: Korean War vets to be honored on Times Square billboards
Stars and Stripes April 20, 2023
Ten veterans of the Korean War, some of them iconic names, will appear on New York’s Times Square in a video remembrance of the conflict’s end 70 years ago.
The South Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs produced the 30-second video that will play 680 times a day on digital billboards on Thursday and Friday in the heart of the city, according to a ministry news release Thursday.
The video features veterans of the war who “contributed to the protection of freedom” of South Korea and to the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea, according to the release. The war ended in July 1953 and the military alliance between the two was formalized in October that year.
The alliance was built on the “sacrifice and dedication of war veterans,” Patriot and Veterans Affairs Minister Park Minshik said in the release.
Two digital billboards will play the videos, one at 2 Times Square from 5 a.m. to 4:59 p.m. Thursday and another at Times Square Spectacular, 1540 Broadway, from 5 p.m. Thursday to 4:59 a.m. Friday.
The video depicts veterans of the 1950-53 Korean War, including former Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur, former Eighth Army commander Gen. James Van Fleet and former Air Force Col. Dean Hess, who helped orchestrate the evacuation of around 1,000 South Korean orphans.
The video also includes South Korean army Gen. Paik Sun-yup, the first in his country to achieve four-star rank, and South Korean air force Gen. Kim Doo-man, the country’s first pilot to fly 100 sorties.
The service members “defended liberal democracy … in the Korean War and played huge roles in the history of the alliance that has been maintained for the past 70 years,” the release said.
The video plays a week before South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s scheduled state visit Wednesday to Washington, D.C.
North Korean forces crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea on June 25, 1950, prompting the United States and 22 nation allies to repel the invasion.
Around 33,700 U.S. troops died in combat or are presumed dead after going missing or being captured, according to the Defense Casualty Analysis System.
The hostilities ended on July 27, 1953, after a delegation from the U.S., U.N. Command, North Korea and China signed an armistice agreement.
On Oct. 1, 1953, the U.S. and South Korea signed a mutual defense treaty that cemented their alliance so that neither “stands alone in the Pacific area.”