The Forgotten War 1950 - 1953 is how the Korean War was described by the Minister for Veterans Affairs in the Victorian Government, Mr. Robin Scott MP at the unveiling of the Korean War Memorial 2 May 2019, 66 years after the cease fire.
This is the first such memorial in Victoria, and is located in Quarry Park, Footscray.
Why The Forgotten War? After the Second World War people in the West were simply too tired rebuilding their lives and Europe to focus on yet another conflict. When North Korea invaded the South on 25 June 1950, the United Nations Organisation took over its defence from USA and Australian Occupation Forces (BCOF) based in Japan. Eventually 16 nations took part while 4 supplied medical help - that is the reason for the Memorial.
After the singing of the Korean and Australian national anthems to the accompaniment of the R.A.N. Band, both Veterans Affairs Ministers of Korea and the Victorian Government unveiled the memorial, H E Ambassador of Korea Baek-soon LEE and Minister Veterans Affairs H.E. Woo Jin Pl spoke of Korea’s gratitude for its current prosperity to the veterans whose average age is now 87.
In his speech, the Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong, Cr Martin Zakharov spoke of the closer ties between Australian and Korean young people through language learning and business.
Despite the early rain, among the 400-500 present were about 40 veterans: Koreans, Australians, British, and one Pole, my father RAF Veteran Andrew Mielnik (Service Number 709290) (above), who has lived in Victoria since 1962. (see Polish Archiwum database for Andrew's details along with 17,000 other Poles)
After solemn prayers and the playing of the Last Post, many wreaths were laid, among them one by Andrew In Memory of 14 Members of 205 Sq who perished in Taiwan on 28 January 1951.
Short Sunderland Far East Flying Wing (88 Sqd, 205 Sqd, 209 Sqd) RAAF Iwakuni, Japan
The sun shone brightly at the conclusion of the ceremony as photos were snapped and the veterans greeted each other warmly.