02 August 2023 (Chicago) – The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago participated in the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice held at the Korean War Veterans Memorial located at Kennedy Park in Chicago on 29 July 2023
Consul General J. Susana V. Paez represented H.E. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, Philippine Ambassador to the United States, upon the invitation of the Chicago Marines and the Windy City Veterans Association through Mr. George Mulvaney.
The ceremony, which commemorated the signing of the Armistice Agreement on 27 July 1953 that formally ended the Korean War, was held at Kennedy Park, the first Korean War memorial in the U.S. that was dedicated on 15 September 1988.
Representatives of various countries placed their respective flags in front of the memorial. The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea was represented by Vice Consul Hoseung Choi. He was introduced by Korean community representative Mr. Tommy Choi, Deputy Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party, who thanked those who fought for giving him and his family the opportunity to start over in the US. Also present was Mr. Paul Van Halteren, Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium and Second Vice Dean of the Chicago Consular Corps (CCC). He represented Mexican Consul General Reyna Torres Mendivil, the incoming Dean of CCC.
Consul General Paez was introduced by Filipino community leader Ms. Rose San Diego. In her remarks, Consul General Paez stated that Greater Chicago is a metropolis that rightfully remembers the heroism of our war heroes, including the sacrifices made by Filipinos and Filipino Americans. The Bataan-Corregidor Bridge on State Street and the Maywood Park Veterans Memorial honor those who served in the Philippines during the Second World War. The City of Chicago also honors the veterans of the Korean War through the first-ever memorial Kennedy Park, and the commemoration of the Armistice Agreement further manifests the shared history of the Philippines and the United States.
Consul General Paez joined in honoring the valor and bravery of heroes who served during the Korean War, but added that the work to attain lasting peace endures. She reaffirmed the shared vision and commitment with the United States, the Philippines’ only treaty ally, and other like-minded countries, in the pursuit of peace and the resolution of disputes through law and reason. She quoted former President John F. Kennedy, who once said, “Our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right...not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom….”
In a healing and cleansing ritual, Mr. George R. Gandara, a Native American who served in the US Marine Corps as Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Director of Homeless Veterans Programs and Adjutant of the 5th District of Illinois, gave a blessing praying for those unaccounted for. There was a three-gun salute at the end of the ceremony. END