South Korea is remembering the heroic efforts of UN troops to defend the country during the 1950 to '53 Korean War.
Marking UN Forces Participation Day and the 68th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement Tuesday, President Moon Jae-in awarded state medals to two veterans for their sacrifices.
They were late Father Emil Joseph Kapaun from the U.S. and retired Australian Brigadier Colin Nicholas Khan.
"Through its participation in the Korean War, the UN wrote into history that unity and cooperation can protect freedom and peace. We hope the spirit of these two veterans to protect freedom and peace remains in our hearts forever."
Kapaun was renowned for boosting the morale of prisoners of war, while Khan nearly died in combat.
It was the first time for a president to present medals to war veterans a task usually done by the prime minister.
Medals were received by their family members.
The day was designated in 2013 to honor the nearly two-million troops from 22 countries that fought alongside South Korea under the UN flag.
President Moon said South Korea will repay the veterans through unity and cooperation with the world to overcome the pandemic.