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SPEECH | July 17, 2018

GEN Brooks Remarks - UNC/MND Repatriation Ceremony - 13 July 2018

여러분 안녕하십니까 and good morning. I am General Vincent K. Brooks, The commander of United Nations Command. Minister Song Young Moo, excellences of the diplomatic corps, alliance leaders, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today on this solemn occasion.

We are gathered here to fulfill our solemn obligation to never forget those who have fallen in battle, and those who have been listed as missing in action or prisoner of war.

Our solemn obligation of remembering is the least of our responsibilities. The greater responsibility is to account for every one of them and return them to their families, bringing to an end the years of uncertainty and anguish.

Today two of our warriors are being returned to their countries and to their families after years of searching and finding and testing to determine identity. May this be the journey of all who remain missing in action or listed as “prisoner.”

I thank the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Korea, Minister Song Young Moo, himself a veteran and a warrior, for the honor of sharing this ceremony. And I thank the members of the ROK Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (ROK MAKRI), as well as their American counterpart, the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (USDPAA), led by my friend and fellow warrior, director Kelly McKeague, for their relentless work in gaining a full accountability – and, Kelly thank you for your presence. It is good to see you again.

I’m heartened to see in attendance today representatives of our many sending states . . . nation, who unified under the United Nations banner, sacrificed blood and treasure to ensure the freedom of the Republic of Korea, and to the preservation of regional security and international order.

The commitment of nations to that same cause lives on today in the United Nations Command – the home for international commitments to the Korean peninsula, the guarantor of the armistice agreement, and the enabler of the on-going diplomatic talks that give us hope in the possibility of a long sought after peace.

Finally, to the families of these two warriors – our sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one. I pray that this ceremony will bring a sense of closure to your family and that you will be comforted in knowing they were honored appropriately.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you again for your presence. Good day.
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