|Korean War KIA/MIA/POW Families Visit Korea|
□ As part of its Korea Revisit program, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs(MPVA) hosts 53 people from the United States who are children, siblings, nephews or nieces of Korean War KIA/MIA/POW casualties. The Ministry hopes to bring in the closure for the left families who suffered a loss of their loved ones, to express the country's appreciation for the sacrifices and contribution, and to show them how the country developed based on the veterans' contribution.
On 23 May (Tue), the participants will be briefed on the MPVA's programs and policies and try on Korean traditional clothing, Han-bok. In the afternoon, they will pay a tribute to the fallen at the Seoul National Cemetery and then be briefed on the MAKRI's progress on the recovery and identification of remains.
On May 24(Wed) the Ministry will host the Honor and Tribute Ceremony for the Korean War Fallen at 10.00hr at the Monument Dedicated to the United States Forces in the Korean War to remember the sacrifice and contribution of the Korean War Veterans, followed by the Nevada Outpost Battle Commemorative Ceremony hosted by the ROK 25th Infantry Division.
The tribute ceremony is expected to provide the families a sense of closure and heal their sorrow and pain of more than 65 years. At the same time, the ministry hopes the participants will realize that their families' sacrifices were not in vain and be proud of their contribution. The Ministry expects a total of 200 participants, including United States Forces Korea officials, Paju-city officials, heads and members of local veterans associations and students to attend.
The honor and tribute ceremony starts when the families enter the venue with the Ministry of National Defense honor guard lining up. Then follow national anthems, silent tribute, remarks, letter reading, roll call of the KIA/MIA/POW casualties. The families will be presented with an oil painting that recreates the fallen's face.
In particular, a daughter of one of the MIA casualties whose remains still missing since the Jangjin Battle, Lynette Tucker (66 years old now) will read a letter to her father, US Army Corporal Thomas Allen Duffey (22 years old at the time of missing in action), whom she has never met.
On May 26 (Fri), a Korean Folk village tour is planned in the morning and Lotte World tour in the afternoon. The Tribute and commemoration banquet in the afternoon will culminate the families' visit.
□ One of the participants, Michael Bruce Bliss, son of Clarence Bruce Bliss who went missing in action at the age of 29, says the missing of his father was "a terrible blow" to his family. Since his father's missing, the family have lived in sorrow and hopes that he will return home someday. The son was thrilled to receive an invitation from the Korean government to visit Korea. He wrote, "Visiting Korea will be a meaningful and almost sacred experience for me. It will be where my father gave his life. The chance to touch the soil where he died will somehow connect me closer to him and I am appreciative to the people in the U.S. and Korea who are making this possible."
□ A local veterans association started the Korea Revisit program in 1975, which was then taken over by the Korean government in 2010 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and to elevate the quality of the program. So far more than 31,000 UN Korean War veterans and their families have visited the country as honored guests of the Korean government.
□ The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs will expand the Korea Revisit programs to maintain bonds forged with blood during the Korean War by inviting UN Korean War veterans as well as families of KIA/MIA/POW, descendants of the Korean War veterans (well-known person).