An estimated four-thousand people participated in an event held in Seoul's Jangchung Arena on Tuesday to honor the sacrifice and courage of those who have fought for the peace and prosperity of South Korea.
In his commemorative speech, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said South Korea still needs to achieve its goal of bringing about peace on the Korean peninsula something that requires patience.
With this in mind, he highlighted the government's efforts and achievements during the past year namely its diplomatic efforts with North Korea to nudge the regime towards dialogue aimed at denuclearization.
Citing the summit last week in Pyeongyang between the leaders of North Korea and China Lee expressed his anticipation for this week as summit talks are scheduled to take place among other former members of the six-party denuclearization talks.
"This week in Osaka, South Korea will hold meetings with China and Russia alongside the one held between the U.S. and China. President Moon Jae-in and President Trump will hold their eighth summit afterwards in Seoul. We hope the move will bring groundbreaking progress in denuclearization and the establishment of peace."
Korean war veterans and their families including those from the U.S. and other countries that were part of the United Nations forces that fought for the South Korean side also participated in the event.
"Nearly 80 Korean War veterans and their families mostly from the U.S. are visiting South Korea this week to pay tribute to those fallen and mark the 69th anniversary of the start of the Korean War."
89-year-old Joseph Belanger, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Corporal who participated in the war when he was in his early 20s, is among those visiting.
"I'm overwhelmed I can't believe the beauty of what's happened here. We fought for something and now I know what it was for It made my life just so much better because at times you wonder what you're fighting for and everything."
Nearly one.eight-million U.S. soldiers fought on the South Korean side during the three-year conflict, which began when North Korean troops pushed into the South in June of 1950.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.