The Words of the Cha Family

United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea

Han Joo Cha
January 1, 1970

Mr. Cha on the Plot of U.N. Memorial Cemetery

Mr. Han Joo Cha was a member of Pusan Family. He is now at Namhae Island, Kyungnam Province doing mission work.

The United Nations Memorial Cemetery is located at Tanggokdong, Pusan, Korea. Here lie buried the heroic dead of many nations who gave their lives in the cause of freedom and world peace.

The cemetery, comprising 31.74 acres, was established by the United Nations Command on 18 January 1951 when interments were begun and remains transferred from six other cemeteries located at Inchon, Kaesong, Miryang, Masan, Taegu and Taejon, and was dedicated on 5 April 1951.

On 17 November 1955, the National Assembly of The Republic of Korea adopted a resolution expressing gratitude and paying high tribute, to the troops of the United Nations which fought in Korea. The resolution recommended that the Government propose to the United Nations General Assembly the establishment of a United Nations Cemetery in Korea to commemorate the precious sacrifices of those who were killed in battle.

The General Assembly, subsequently, adopted a resolution on 15 December 1955 which decided that this Cemetery should be established and maintained as a United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea in honor of the dead.

A formal agreement between the United Nations and the Republic of Korea was signed on 6 November 1959 and the administration of the Cemetery by the United Nations was assumed on 31 March 1960. Under the Agreement, the Republic of Korea granted the land on which the Cemetery stands to the United Nations without charge, in perpetuity, as a permanent tribute to all those who laid down their lives in resisting aggression in Korea and in upholding the cause of peace and freedom.

There are twenty plots on the plateau, each dedicated to a Member of the United Nations and the Republic of Korea, which took part in the Korean conflict and flying the respective national emblems, marked by an individual bronze plaque. Twenty-one nations are represented with Belgium and Luxembourg sharing the same plot. This is known as the Symbolic Area.

The Memorial Service Hall

In the Cemetery, today, lie the bodies of 2,267 men from Australia (281), Canada (378), Ethiopia (1), France (44), the Republic of Korea (36), the Netherlands (117), New Zealand (34), Norway (1), South Africa (11), Turkey (462), the United Kingdom (884) and the United States of America (3) as well as of unknown allied soldiers (4) and non-belligerents (11). During the period 1951-1954, remains of men from Belgium, Colombia, Ethiopia, Greece, India, the Philippines and Thailand, as the majority of those from the United States and some from France and Norway, were repatriated to their home countries.

Each grave is covered by a plaque bearing particulars of the deceased.

Turkish Brigades which served in Korea have placed two memorials in the Cemetery upon the completion of their tours of duty, the last in June 1960. They are located on the west side of the Symbolic Area

A Memorial to the Greek Expeditionary Force in honor of its men killed in the Korean war, located on the west side of the Symbolic Area, was dedicated early in 1961.

A memorial commemorating 386 members of the Common wealth Forces who fell in Korea and who have no known grave, dedicated in May 1965, can be seen on the lower east side of the main grave plots.

A Memorial Service Hall, built by the United Nations, was inaugurated on 21 August 1964. Essentially modern in design, it incorporates a novel feature of six reinforced concrete 'v' beams which are "hinged" and appear to clamp the building to its foundations. It was designed and constructed by a Korean architect, bearing in mind the various religious represented in the Cemetery.

Many of the trees and shrubs in the Cemetery grounds have been generously donated by Governments, organizations and private individuals.

The Cemetery is administered by a Custodian, appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. International staff on duty guides visitors around the Cemetery. 

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