Number 204 | July 30, 2012
The TCA Commemorates the Korean War Armistice signed on July 27th 1953. During this war U.S. and Turkish forces fought side by side under U.N. command, along with other allied nations, to save South Korea from the threat of North Korean occupation. The Turkish armed forces were the only brigade-sized U.N. unit permanently attached to a U.S. division throughout the war.
To commemorate the bravery of those who served and to honor Turkish-American camaraderie during this conflict, on July 26, TCA organized an event titled "On the Eve of the Korean War Armistice Day" featuring two Korean War veterans Al Ortiz (MSG, U.S. Army, 45th Infantry Division) and William E. Alli (Sgt, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Marine Division). The two veterans shared their experiences of the war and discussed its enduring relevance to this day.
Mr. Ortiz explained that the Korean War is "a shining example of what can be accomplished when countries come together to help another country free itself from an oppressive government to become a thriving and independent democracy". He added that "We were glad to have the Turks on our side; they are fantastic fighters."
William E. Alli explained the historical context in which the war was waged and the factors affecting U.S. intervention. He went on to highlight Turkish-American solidarity during the war. "Among the veterans of the Korean War, the Turks gained fame for their courage and selflessness, they made you feel secure at night", said Mr. Alli. He added that that "the legacy of the Turkish Brigade has served as a foundation on which U.S.-Turkey relations continue to grow."