July 16, 2012 Veterans History Project and Department of Defense Collaborate on Korean War 60th Anniversary Commemoration Film Screening, Book Talk

Contact: Monica Mohindra (202) 707-1071; Lisa Taylor (202) 707-2333

The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) and the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee will co-host a documentary film screening, book talk and discussion on “Ship of Miracles,” the story of the 1950 Korean War merchant ship rescue, which historians have deemed the greatest sea rescue in the history of mankind. During an intense military battle, the S.S. Meredith Victory, designed to carry no more than 12 passengers aside from a crew of 47, rescued 14,000 North Korean refugees and carried them to safety in a single, three-day voyage.

VHP and the committee will present the screening, book talk and subsequent discussion on Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m. in the Members’ Room of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, located at 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. Documentary producer R.J. McHatton and author Bill Gilbert will be present to address questions from the audience. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are needed.

“The Korean War is often referred as ‘The Forgotten War,’ not because it was unimportant, but because it occurred after World War II and before the Vietnam War,” said VHP Director Robert Patrick. “The Veterans History Project and the Department of Defense are committed to making sure the Korean War and the veterans who served during that era are never forgotten.”

In addition to the general public, Korean War veterans and their families from throughout the United States will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend this event as part of the annual “Gathering,” which commemorates the signing of the Armistice on July 27, 1953.

"This is one of the most compelling human-interest dramas to come out of the Korean War,” said Committee Executive Director Colonel David J. Clark. “The remarkable story of the S.S. Meredith Victory and the Hungnam Evacuation is considered by many to be the greatest sea rescue in history, with more than 10,000 civilians saved.

“The committee is honored to collaborate with the Veterans History Project and the U.S. Merchant Marines to present this timeless story of courage and dedication as we remember the war’s pivotal moments, as well as our veterans' service and sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today," Clark added.

The Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee also will host a ceremonial tribute to Korean War Veterans on Friday, July 27 at 9 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery’s Amphitheater. The event is open to the public and includes a wreath-laying ceremony and keynote remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Access the Library’s website at www.loc.gov.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 as a national documentation program of the American Folklife Center (www.loc.gov/folklife/) to collect, preserve and make accessible the first-hand remembrances of American wartime veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The project relies on volunteers to record veterans’ remembrances using guidelines accessible at www.loc.gov/vets/. Volunteers may request more information at [email protected] or the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to VHP’s RSS on the VHP home page.

The 2011 Defense Authorization Bill authorized the establishment of the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee. The committee is dedicated to thanking and honoring all the veterans of the Korean War, their families and especially those who lost loved ones in that war. Through 2013, the committee will honor the service and sacrifice of Korean War veterans, commemorate the key events of the war and educate Americans of all ages about the historical significance of the Korean War. For more information on the committee and its activities, go to koreanwar.defense.gov.

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PR 12-139
2012-07-16
ISSN 0731-3527