Soldiers, war vets remember Hill 303 heroes
WAEGWAN, South Korea – 6th Ordnance Battalion hosted the10th anniversary of the Hill 303 Wreath Laying and Memorial Ceremony at the Hill 303 monument near Camp Carroll in Waegwan June 15 to honor the spirits of fallen heroes of the Korean War.
Hill 303 was a major battle site during the Korean War where the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division successfully defended Waegwan during the battle. 41 captured U.S. Army’s Prisoners of War were killed by North Korean soldiers.
Over 200 people including U.S. Soldiers, Korean Soldiers, Korean War veterans and local citizens attended the event.
Before the main ceremony, participants climbed atop Jago mountain where the Hill 303 monument is located, as symbolism of the challenges that Soldiers who sacrificed their lives had to overcome.
“This memorial ceremony serves as a reminder for our Soldiers and leaders today; the importance of the mission, and dedicated support that is required to preserve the freedoms that were born out of extreme hardships due to mountain terrain, desperate fighting and attrition of forces,” said Maj. Roland E. Ramirez, 6th Ordnance Battalion Executive Officer.
The ceremony began with the invocation and continued with memorial addresses by the guest speakers.
“The departed war heroes from the United States, the most robust alliance of Korea and forever friends, had defended the hill 303 with desperate courage and strong will of protecting freedom,” said Lee Byung-kon, the president of Korean Veteran Chilgok Association. “Without their sacrifice, the peace and the prosperity of Korea could not have been achieved.”
Following the ceremony, participants laid flowers in front of the Hill 303 monument to pay tribute to the spirits of those patriots who gave up their lives defending freedom on the peninsula.
“They were our brothers then, just as they are our heroes today, and we will neither forget the magnitude nor the power of their sacrifice,” said Col. Kathleen A. Gavle, United States Army Garrison – Daegu commander. “We are humbled to be a part of a legacy of freedom and patriotism that you forged with your service so many decades ago and we are honored by your continued memorial of the sacrifices on Hill 303.”