Freedom is Not Free
Gov Tina Kotek and Publisher of the Portland Observer Newspaper, Mark Washington receives Peace Medals on behalf of honoring their fathers Jerry A. Kotek and Duane Washington from the honorable Seo, Eunji Consul General. PHOTO BY ZOE HOLMAN-KRAGERO
On Saturday July 29th the members from Portland and across the Pacific Northwest joined Governor Tina Kotek along with other leaders for a special Korean War Armistice Day, followed by the opening of a new Korean War Interpretive Center.
The Korean War Memorial Foundation of Oregon established the Korean War Memorial Interpretive Center in order to share the history of Korea and the historical significance of the Korean War. This event was to commemorate the signing of the armistice to end the fighting of the Korean War and the 70th anniversary of the alliance between the U.S. and Republic of Korea, the event will take place at Town Center Park. There were Sixty thousand Oregonians that fought and made the noblest sacrifice in order to save peace and freedom on the Korean Peninsula, of those soldiers 287 were killed.
Nine Korean War veterans were awarded the Korean Ambassador for Peace medal. The 9 Ambassadors for Peace Medals to receive their awards personally or by their family members were Keith Bender, Robert Blackwell, Thomas Fujii, John Lewis, Robert Lorenz, Ha-Sung Park, William Wright, Jerry A. Kotek and Duane Washington.
The event included several speeches, a choir performance from the Oregon Elders Choir which was led by Sok-Tu Kim and many recognitions. Three words are often used to succinctly describe the tight bond between the U.S. and South Korea: We go together! It represents durable partnership between the two nations and a pledge to continue to stand together in the face of pressing challenges.
Consulate General of the ROK in Seattle said in her speech “one presence has resisted progress over the last 70 years: North Korea’s threat to peace. The nuclear and missile ambitions of North Korea continue to pose a grave threat to the whole region of Northeast Asia. Peace cannot be attained through submission and capitulation, but kept through strength. Accordingly, our two presidents have agreed to the “Washington Declaration,” which strengthened extended deterrence and upgraded our alliance to a “nuclear-based alliance.” We must remember that “Freedom is not free.”