Home : Media : News
News Stories

GEN Brooks Remarks - UNC Repatriation Ceremony - 1 August 2018

| United Nations Command | Aug. 1, 2018

OSAN AIR BASE, Osan —

여러분 안녕하십니까 AND GOOD EVENING. 

I AM GENERAL VINCENT K. BROOKS, THE COMMANDER OF UNITED NATIONS COMMAND.

I WELCOME THE MANY DISTINGUISHED GUESTS WHO HAVE JOINED THE COMMAND IN PROPERLY HONORING THE REMAINS OF FALLEN WARRIORS FROM THE KOREAN WAR AS WE SEND THEM AWAY FROM THIS ANCIENT LAND ONWARD TO THE IDENTIFICATION LABORATORIES IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE THEY CAN BE POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED AND RETURNED, FINALLY, TO THEIR COUNTRYMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO NEVER FORGOT THEM OR THE WAR THAT CLAIMED THEM.

TO THE DISTINGUISHED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA GOVERNMENT WHO ARE PRESENT, AND LED BY MINISTER OF DEFENSE SONG, YOUNG MOO --; TO THE EXCELLENCIES OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS AND THE ATTACHE CORPS REPRESENTING EACH UNITED NATIONS MEMBER WHO SENT FORCES TO AID THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA UNDER THE UNITED NATIONS FLAG; AND TO THE FORCES OF MULTIPLE COUNTRIES WHO SERVE HERE TODAY IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA, THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRESENCE AND PARTICIPATION.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, AT A TIME LIKE THIS, IN SUCH A SOLEMN OBSERVANCE, THE TIME FOR WORDS SHOULD BE KEPT SHORT, AND THE TIME FOR SOLEMN OBSERVATION OF MILITARY TRADITION TO HONOR FALLEN COMRADES MUST BE THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF OUR ATTENTION.

WITH THAT IN MIND, IT IS APPROPRIATE TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IT IS WE ARE DOING TODAY. 

ENCOURAGED BY RECENT COOPERATION WITH NORTH KOREA ON THIS HUMANITARIAN EFFORT THAT ENABLED THE TRANSFER OF 55 SETS OF REMAINS ON THE 27TH OF JULY, LAST FRIDAY, WE HAVE GATHERED – AS THE SUCCESSORS OF UNITED NATIONS COMMAND IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA, AND AS THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE NOBLE SACRIFICES OF THOSE WHO FOR A SHORT WHILE LONGER WILL REMAIN NAMELESS-YET IN OUR PRESENCE – TO RENDER OUR FINAL SALUTES TO THEM.  TO LAY WREATHS IN THE NAMES OF OUR COUNTRIES WHO FOUGHT SIDE BY SIDE, AND WHO DIED SIDE BY SIDE.  AND TO BE REMINDED ONCE AGAIN OF OUR SOLEMN OBLIGATION TO BRING EVERYONE OF THEM, THE MISSING, THE PRISONER OF WAR, BACK HOME TO THEIR COUNTRIES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

FOR THE WARRIOR, THIS IS A CHERISHED DUTY, A COMMITMENT MADE TO ONE ANOTHER BEFORE GOING INTO BATTLE AND PASSED ON FROM ONE GENERATION OF WARRIORS TO THE NEXT. 

AND FOR ALL IN ATTENDANCE, THIS IS A SOLEMN REMINDER THAT OUR WORK IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL ALL HAVE BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES TO DO SO.

WE ASSEMBLE IN THIS PLACE -- THE UN FLAG BEFORE US, THE FLAGS OF THE SENDING STATES BENEATH IT, AND BEHIND US -- THE FLAGS OF THE UNITED STATES AS LEAD NATION, AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AS PRIMARY FORCE PROVIDER AND BENEFICIARY OF THE GALLANT SACRIFICE.  AND THESE 55 SETS OF REMAINS IN OUR MIDST.

HONORED COLLEAGUES OF UNITED NATIONS COMMAND, IN A FEW MOMENTS WE WILL PROCEED WITH WREATH LAYING AND MILITARY HONORS, FOLLOWED BY THE MOVEMENT OF EACH SET OF REMAINS FROM HERE TO THE TWO MILITARY TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT THAT WILL BRING THEM ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE END OF THEIR JOURNEY.

 

I WANT TO THANK THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PRISONER OF WAR AND MISSING IN ACTION ACCOUNTING AGENCY, THE U.S. DEPARTMENTS OF STATE AND DEFENSE, AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA GOVERNMENT FOR ENABLING THIS EVENT, AND TO THANK EACH OF YOU FOR YOUR PRESENCE TODAY AND YOUR SUPPORT EVERYDAY.

THANK YOU, AND MAY GOD BLESS THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO LAY BEFORE US, AND PROVIDE COMFORT TO THOSE WHO YET AWAIT THE RETURN OF THEIR BELOVED AND MISSING WARRIOR.