THOUSANDS will honour the bravery and sacrifice of those who defended the nation’s freedom and values at Anzac services around the region today.
However, the commemorations started yesterday when a small group attended the Vansittart Park War Memorial to recognise the Korean War’s Battle of Kapyong.
The first wreaths were laid as around 40 people gathered to commemorate a war forgotten by many.
A total of 17,000 Australians served in the Korean War in the early 1950s, with 339 killed and 1216 wounded.
Following the Battle of Kapyong, Australian troops received a US citation for their bravery.
Limestone Coast Police Operations Inspector Campbell Hill was on hand to read the US presidential citation bestowed upon the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
“The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, is cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performances of combat duties in action against the armed enemy near Kapyong, Korea, on the 24th and 25th of April, 1951,” he said.
“The enemy had broken through the main lines of resistance and the unit was deployed to stem the assault.
“The enemy attacked savagely again and again and threw waves of troops at the gallant defenders.
“Ammunition ran low, there was no time for food and still they stood their ground in resolute defiance of the enemy.
“Their gallantry and determination in accomplishing unit missions under extreme difficulties set them apart and above other units in the campaign.”
The service culminated in Mount Gambier’s last surviving Korean War veterans Eric Watson and Roy Underwood laying wreaths to pay tribute to their fallen comrades.