Anglican Air Force Chaplain Andrew Knight leads a wreath-laying ceremony at the Commonwealth Missing in Action Memorial reflecting on the 43 Australians missing in action in the Korean War. The Australian memorial honouring the 17,000 Australian sailors, soldiers, airmen and nurses who served to defend Korea was officially dedicated on 26 October 2011 in a special ceremony under sombre skies at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, Busan (Pusan),South Korea.
An Australian mission party comprising seven veterans, the son of another veteran missing in action and an element ofAustralia’s Federation Guard are currently visitingSouth Koreato mark the 60th anniversary ofAustralia’s involvement in the Korean War.Australia’s Federation Guard is providing a catafalque party for memorial ceremonies at the various Australian, Commonwealth, United Nations and other memorials marking the Korean War.
The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when North Korean forces launched an invasion ofSouth Korea. Personnel from the Australian Army, Air Force, and Navy fought as part of the United Nations multinational force, defendingSouth Koreafrom the Communist forces of the north. Of the 17,000 Australians who served inKorea, 340 lost their lives during the war and another 18 died in the post-armistice period, more than 1200 were wounded, 30 became prisoners of war and 43 were listed as missing in action.
Chaplain Andrew Knight dedicated the marble memorial and the Hon. Warren Snowdon, MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, honoured those who served in the Korean theatre throughout the war (1950–53) and during the following post-armistice period (1953–57).
A prescence of a chaplain at a commemoration cerimony such as this, sets the sacrifice of military personnel into an eternal perspective. A Chaplain is a sign of the prescence of God, admist the devastation of the war, reminding all of an eternal hope. Christians find their hope in God, whose sacrifice of his son Jesus, gives meaning to every sacrifice and hope in the midst of the surrounding devastation and dispair.