BUSAN - Australian Baseball League representatives along with Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat players and staff gathered to honour Remembrance Day at the "United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea" (UNMCK).
November 11 is a significant day for war veterans as it represents the anniversary of the Armistice signed on the same day in 1918 to bring about the end of World War One. While not directly linked to the Korean War, the day was brought about by Canadian war veteran Vince Courtney, who along with 60 other soldiers, gathered on the Western Front in 1950 Korea to honour Remembrance Day prior to entering battle in the Korean War. Only a few nights later, twelve of the 60 men who took part in the ceremony died in battle and are buried at the UNMCK, and since 2007 veterans from Korea, Australia, Canada and the rest of the world gather at the UNMCK in Busan to remember the fallen soldiers of the Korean War.
It was a unique aspect to the Asia Series trip for the players after taking part in a tournament designed to bring together the primary baseball nations of Asia for a yearly celebration of the sport. South Korean officials, veterans and students used the event to give thanks, especially to the foreign soldiers, who gave their lives to help the nation in its moment of need 62 years ago.
At the UNMCK, there are 281 Australian Soldiers, 378 Canadian Soldiers and 38 American Soldiers buried on the grounds, and the players took the time to visit the graves of their fellow countrymen and meeting with Australian Veterans before attending the remembrance ceremony.
After a week of training and stiff competition in the Asia Series, Luke Hughes spoke about how today was important for the team to take a step back and gain perspective. "Today was good opportunity for the team pay their respects. To take time to understand all of the sacrifices of the veterans and the fallen soldiers made to allow for the current generation to be living in the peaceful world we are living now. Today we got to see how another country honours war veterans and it and it's a very moving experience for us to see another aspect of how war affects people worldwide."