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SOURCE Future U.S.-Korea Foundation
Former Congressman and Future U.S.-Korea Foundation Assisting in Planning and Development
OSAN, Republic of Korea, May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The City of Osan is planning to construct a memorial park at the site of the Battle of Osan to honor the men of Task Force Smith (www.TFSMemorial.com), the first American unit to engage North Korean troops in the summer of 1950.
The plan was announced today by Jay Kim, former U.S. Congressman and president of the Future U.S.-Korea Foundation (http://www.kimchangjoonresearch.com/), which is working with the City of Osan and the Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs to make the park a reality.
The Task Force Smith Memorial Park will encompass some twelve acres along the road where a hastily organized force of 540 Americans dug in on July 5, 1950 to slow the advance by a larger, better equipped force of North Korean tanks and infantry. Roughly half the Task Force were killed, wounded, taken prisoner or counted missing in action, but they were able to delay the North Korean advance while other U.S. and Korean units prepared defensive positions.
"We believe it is our sacred duty to keep the memory of their devotion and sacrifice alive," said Osan Mayor Kwak Sang-wook. "The museum and, now, the memorial park, can serve as a place for the families of Task Force Smith combatants to honor their brave soldiers, and for Korean children to learn and carry forward this special memory and a special appreciation of the friendship between our two nations."
In April of last year, the city unveiled a new U.N. Forces First Battle Memorial museum to honor the troops of Task Force Smith and all the other forces from the participating U.N. nations that fought to protect South Korea from the communist invasion. The Memorial Park, which will occupy a site nearby, will include walking paths, historical markers, statues, pavilions and 540 pine trees, one planted for each of the soldiers of Task Force Smith.
U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has offered these words of support. "The relationship between our two countries is a precious one that will continue to grow," Rangel said. "It's amazing that after all these decades, Korea and the Korean people have never stopped thanking us. Korea will always have a place in my heart as it does in the hearts of all U.S. veterans who have served then and those who serve now."
Rep. Rangel served in Korea in the 2nd Infantry, and was awarded the Bronze Star for gallantry in the Battle of Kunuri, as well as a Purple Heart and three Battle Stars. The former chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee is the third longest serving member currently in Congress.
"I was just a little boy in Seoul when the Korean War began," Jay Kim said. "But I remember the communists who burned my home. And later, I remember the smiling GI's who brought us food and comfort as they pushed the communists back to the North."
Kim was the first Korean American elected to the U.S. House, and served three terms after serving as City Councilman and Mayor of Diamond Bar, CA. https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=84957015&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=0A8c&locale=en_US&srchid=57933461397589323191&srchindex=1&srchtotal=887&trk=vsrp_people_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A57933461397589323191%2CVSRPtargetId%3A84957015%2CVSRPcmpt%3Aprimary
"Osan is an especially important place to remember the sacrifice and dedication of our American troops. At this site some 500 young Americans, ill-prepared and ill-equipped, were thrown into battle against tremendous odds on behalf of a people and a nation they barely knew," Kim said.
The City of Osan is also home to the UN Forces First Battle Memorial museum and monuments. Additional information is available at www.TFSMemorial.com, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Osan .
U.S. CONTACT: Jeffry Davis
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