2ID hosts Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony in Korea
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea -- The 2nd Infantry Division hosted a Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony at the 2nd Inf. Div. Museum May 22 on Camp Red Cloud in Uijeongbu, South Korea.
Maj. Gen. Thomas Vandal, 2nd Inf. Div. commanding general, and division senior enlisted advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano, hosted the ceremony to honor the nation's fallen for their selfless service and sacrifices in the name of freedom.
"Today, we pay tribute to brave men and women who gave their lives in defense of our nation and the Republic of Korea," said Vandal. "I am honored to be here with you on such an important day and to share in this ceremony."
In addition to honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom, Vandal also mentioned the victims of the tragic accident of the Sewol Ferry.
"I would also remind us to remember those that have been lost in the recent Sewol Ferry accident," he said. "Today, we also use a yellow ribbon to symbolize our heartfelt condolences for the victims of the Sewol tragedy during this difficult period of mourning here in the Republic of Korea."
More than 1.7 million Americans served in Korea during the war and more than 36,000 lost their lives. In addition, 8,100 are still classified as missing in action. The 2nd Inf. Div. received the Presidential Unit Citation; the highest decoration the United States can award a division for their contributions during the Korean War. Today, the 2nd Inf. Div. is the only forward deployed division in the Army as it stands ready to help protect the South against North Korea aggression.
"The importance of Memorial Day can never be forgotten, particularly for those of us who serve in the Armed Forces and who have experienced the loss of friends and comrades in arms in combat while defending our nation," Vandal said. "Today, we pause from our hectic pace to reconnect with our nation's history by honoring and remembering the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have given everything to preserve our way of life."