1st MAW, South Korea Remember, Honor Those Who Have Fallen

1st MAW, South Korea Remember, Honor Those Who Have Fallen

It’s 10 a.m. and sirens are blaring throughout the country of South Korea reminding its citizens to take a moment to pray for, mourn and honor the fallen service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

This moment of silence happens every year on June 6 in honor of South Korea’s Memorial Day.

This year, the Republic of Korea and U.S. paid tribute to the service members of the Korean War during a memorial ceremony at Pohang City Battle Monument and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Memorial Monument in Pohang, South Korea, June 6, 2018.

1st MAW sent two representatives to join the ceremony, U.S. Marine Col. Maria McMillen and U.S. Navy Capt. Denis Cox. Four Marines stationed on Camp Mujuk, the sole U.S Marine Corps base in South Korea, also took part in the ceremony.

“This memorial here represents the unique and unwavering alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States and reminds us of the bond and brotherhood that has been established between our nations – not only during times of war, but every day as we unite for freedom and democracy,” said McMillen, the G-5 assistant chief of staff with 1st MAW.

The event attendees consisted of ROK Marines, city council members, Korea Freedom Federation Songdo Branch members, local police officers and the Pohang police chief, as well as many local bystanders.

Cox, the 1st MAW wing chaplain, said he was grateful to participate in this memorial and meet the other participants. He was also fascinated to see the Korean tradition to honor the fallen.

During the ceremony, the locals set out a variety of food on an altar in front of the memorial. A smaller table holding an incense burner and a tray of wine was placed in front of that.

Next, an individual knelt at the small table to light the incense. After, they pour two cups of rice wine into a bowl to symbolize their ancestor’s descent to the offering table, stood up and bowed deeply. This process was then repeated by others who wished to join.

McMillen participated in this ritual as well and also placed a white flower on the 1st MAW Memorial Monument. Each participant at the memorial followed suit.

“Observing Memorial Day should remind us to be humble, thankful and never take for granted the sacrifice that was made by so many people in the past to ensure our way of life today,” said McMillen.

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14 comments


  • Paul Santiago

    Come of it. What’s wrong with the enemy trying to or killing your buddies? You were trying to kill them, weren’t you? Fair is fair, that’s war. Killing or mistreating POWs is an entirely different matter, they are out of the fight. In my small way, I served 22 years studying and honing my part and those of my Marines in the art of warfare, I’m hardly a ‘bleeding heart Marine’.


  • BRENDAN MCCARRON

    I READ ALL THE ABOVE REPLYS. SOME GOOD SOME NOT SO GOOD. AS A VIETNAM VET I STILL DON’T LIKE THEM. I DON’T TRUST THEM. THEY KILLED A LOT OF US SO LEAVE THE BLEEDING HEART SHIT TO THE HIPPIES. ANY OF YOU BLEEDING HEART MARINES GO THROUGH THE TET CRAP?? SOME BODY KILLS YOUR BUDDY MAKE THEM PAY. DON’T HUG THEM LATER. AS CHESTY SAID KILLTHEM ALL PISSED OFF AT SOME OF YOU BLEEDING HEART MARINES. JOIN THE PEACE CORP. NOT MY U.S.M.C. SEMPER FI. TO ALL YOU ” NEVER FORGET ” MARINES.


  • Paul Santiago

    Gunny, I remember the massacre. I believe most of the soldiers were 1st Cav. We (5th Mar) were engaged at Red Slash Hill at the Naktong on that date. That’s a few miles south of where it happened. We heard about it a couple days later. We wanted to take revenge, but we don’t kill POWs. Your brother and all those who died there are not forgotten, especially by the Korean people. I too am a retired GySgt (’46-’68). Semper Fidelis.


  • Manuel G Garcia

    My older brother Arturo Garcia was killed 17 August 1950 at the Hill 303 Massacre. He was an Army private but I’m good with that, I had three brothers in the Army, one brother in the Air Force and two brothers who joined the Marine Corps. I think of him and other American servicemen killed during the Korean War a lot. I myself am a retired Marine GySgt (July ’67 thru Jan ’89.) I am a Vietnam Vet and I think and pray for the American servicemen and women who were killed then too. I’m on my way out now but I sure hope people don’t forget those wars America fought in even though they were not so popular. My next brother down from me was killed on liberty 20 Jan ’73. He was shot five times, robbed and left to die on Okinawa. My father said we owed the U. S. an obligation because his life was so much better after he came from Mexico in 1906. I feel like he paid it.


  • Corporal Phung USMC

    The correct tittle is Col. McMillen. Please do not call her Ms. McMillen. Col. McMillen is humble and respectful. You are not humble and disrespectful toward our asian brothers and sisters that had served in the U.S. Marine Corp. and had sacrificed the same way and bled the same color of blood for the same cause. Be humble brother !!!


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