Korean War vet recalls bravery of PH soldiers

MANILA -- Ninety-seven-year old retired Maj. Maximo P. Young on Monday cited the bravery of the 7,420 Filipino soldiers who fought during the Korean War against all odds to defend freedom and democracy.

We have fought the Korean War to fight for freedom and democracy, and now we are proclaimed as ambassadors for peace, Young said at the 20th anniversary of the Korean War Veterans of the Philippines Memorial Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Young was a tank commander of the 10th Battalion Combat Team (BCT) at the epic battle at Yultong in Korea when war broke out in the Korean Peninsula in 1950.

Indeed, for me and the 7,420 Filipinos who fought the Korean War, our service and sacrifice has promoted peace and freedom and eventually blessed South Korea with prosperity, referring to South Korea's economic boom after the war.

And for that our Korean brothers and sisters continue to be grateful to us. And such gratitude is being manifested in various ways and events, Young added.

He also said the recent goodwill visit of two South Koran destroyer and a fast combat support ship in Manila was again a manifestation of Philippine-Korean friendship through the years.

We were proclaimed as the ambassadors for peace by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of Korea, Young said.

In the proclamation, the South Korean government said that we cherish our hearts the memory of your boundless sacrifices and helping us re-establish out free nation, he said.

To say that we have to fight a war to attain peace is a recognition of history, the recognition of the imperfections of man and the limits to reason, he said.

The instruments of war do have a role in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must co-exist with another: that no matter how justified � war promises human tragedy, he added.

Young vividly recalled the memories of the Korean War when troops from the Philippine Expedition Force to Korea (PEFTOK) land in Busan in 1950 where I first came face to face with frightened, thin Korean refugees begging for food, and seeing so many parentless children among these refugees. It was heartbreaking.

And we Korean War veterans bore the burdens of warto seek peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to build a better life for their children, not merely peace in our time but peace for all time, the Korean War veteran said.

War need not be inevitable as peace need not be impracticable. Let us preserve. We must in all our daily lives live us to the age-old faith that peace and freedom walk together, Young stressed.

At the same time, Young said it is the responsibility of government to provide and protect freedom for all citizens as it is also the responsibility of citizens to respect the right of others and respect the law.

Young also reminded the present generation and the generations to come to learn the lessons of history, the lessons of the Korean War and its aftermath - that it is through taking this path of loving peace and sacrificing for it, that freedom, prosperity, and a strong society follows.

Among those who attended today's affair were Brig. Gen. Manuel S. Gonzales (AFP/Ret.), who was the guest of honor and speaker, South Korean Ambassador Han Dong-Man, Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina (AFP/Ret.), administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), among others. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency