Northern Ireland Belfast (3)
>> Hello, everybody. I am back at the Belfast City Hall where the Korean War memorial proudly stands. I am here with the last remaining Korean War veteran, Grandpa Albert. Say, "Hello," and Ms. Carol Walker, who's been extremely instrumental in arranging everything today. She will tell you the story behind this memorial, how it got here and that there is another memorial in Korea, in Seoul, that honors the Irish Korean War veterans. So Ms. Walker ... >> Hi. >> Should we do a little ... We're going to loop around and then show you, so I just want to show you ... >> We just stay here. >> ... how it looks like. It honors the Royal Ulster Rifle, and, again, I love this inscription where it says, "The people that walk in darkness have seen the great light," from Isaiah, chapter nine, verse two, and then another ... So there's three sides that honor different ... So we're going to face way because I think this is prettier, so okay. So Ms. Walker, tell us how this memorial got here. >> Well, this memorial used to be in Korea. The soldiers themselves and [INAUDIBLE] Battle of Happy Valley. Actually ... >> Speak up. >> Oh, speak up? At the height of the battle in Happy Valley ... Afterwards, they decided, the commanding officer decided they [INAUDIBLE] something to commemorate the sacrifice of the 157 men that had made this great sacrifice at that particular battle, which as you can see from the memorial, it was on the 3rd and 4th of January 1951, so the padre set out on a task to go and find something, and he managed to come across a Korean stonemason. >> Mm-hmm. >> And they were able to get this beautiful pink Korean granite, polished granite, and create a memorial. It was on the field at the site, the battle site at Happy Valley on the 3rd of July in the 1950s, 1953, and at the service, there was a service that took place, and many of the soldiers themselves attended it, and they had the padre at the time, and he performed the sermoning, and the words that are on the memorial that you said, Isaiah, he actually used them as part of the scripture during the service that day and during the sermon, in the remembrance sermoning. Also they laid wreathes at the time, poppy wreaths like Albert has just laid. >> I do want to show this. >> They laid these wreaths to commemorate the 150 men that had made that sacrifice and that had died at the Battle of Happy Valley in trying to give Seoul the freedom. >> Oh, yeah. >> You can see ... >> Yes. >> ... it tells the story. >> Oh, it tells the story. I didn't realize that before. That's wonderful. >> But unfortunately, then what happened was after the Royal Ulster Rifles left Korea, there was nobody coming back to visit the memorial, and HMS Belfast, which is actually ironic that it was HMS Belfast, happened to be visiting Korea at the time in the '60s, '64, and it was decided then to bring back the memorial back to Northern Ireland so that the soldiers who were still alive from the Ulster Rifles could still have ceremonies and could attend remembrance services ... >> That is awesome. >> ... for their comrades. So it was brought back onboard HMS Belfast. It was brought to the [INAUDIBLE] barracks which was in Ballymena, and it was positioned there. Sadly then, Ballymena actually closed as an army base, and the memorial went into storage for a while, but people like Colonel Charley and Brigadier McCord at the time were instrumental in making sure that the memorial went somewhere important and had the honor that these men had bestowed wasn't forgotten, and the memorial was actually then given this very prominent place here in Belfast, and it has progressed over the years. It's been looked after. As Albert said, you know, there was a new path has been put in. People are able to come here and visit it, and the Ulster Rifles Association will come here and will hold memorial services and still remember the war dead oftentime. >> I guess I just want to show you that they put up that gate especially for this, you know, walkway because technically, this area right now, there's no pathway. That's the City Hall, and it is in a very prominent location. >> And it's so close to the cenotaph which is Belfast Cenotaph that's here to commemorate and honor the war dead of the First World War and the Second World War, and so it's still fitting to have it ... >> Very fitting. >> ... to have it so close to the cenotaph. >> So over there, Ms. Walker, pointing out the cenotaph honoring those who died in World Wars I and II, and it's literally ... You can see it from here, and this memorial is right here, and I just wanted to thank you because the one that's filming right now is the daughter of Colonel Charley, who was not only instrumental in getting this here, but in Korea, they now have a memorial honoring the Irish Korean War veterans. It's in Seoul. >> It's in Seoul at the National Museum, at the museum, because it's a very fitting site. It's where there's also memorials are from the Canadians, and all the other Commonwealth countries have now started as well on the back of what we did and what the Irish did with their memorial, and there's other countries, you know, from the United Nations have placed their memorials that are in a war memorial garden, and it means people can go and commemorate. The good thing is that every year, as well, the Irish, the Irish Embassy, still hold a remembrance service there and for people, so it's not forgotten. [INAUDIBLE] memorial, we spent a lot of time working out [INAUDIBLE], what shape it would look like, how the memorial would come about. It was decided that it wouldn't be a replica that we had here because it needed to reflect as it is today Ireland's [INAUDIBLE]. >> That's true. This was erected in 1951. >> And the Ireland that we are in today and we were in in 2012 when we started with the project was a very different Ireland. It was an Ireland that had started to come through the the peace ... >> Aw. >> ... process. >> Oh! >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Oh! >> I'm cold! >> I don't want him to freeze. This is Grandpa Albert, everyone. He's 91 years young, and his memory is impeccable, right? Oh, before we close, see, I wore this rifle green to match him, but can you sing [INAUDIBLE] for us? [Lyrics] [INAUDIBLE] >> Yay! Ninety-one years young. He's the last remaining Korean War veteran in Northern ... >> Well, one of the ... One of the last. >> One of the last Northern Ireland ... >> The last Irish one. >> Yes. >> He is. >> An Irish one. Many have passed just in the past month ... >> Yeah. >> Yeah. >> That's it. >> ... including Colonel Charley and ... >> Uh-huh. >> And many of the veterans that we were able to take back to Korea in 2013, many of them passed very quickly after their trip back ... >> Yeah. >> ... when you think about it. >> So I want to thank you because actually Ms. Walker is part of a different organization and association that remembers and honors those that died in World War I, right? >> Yes. >> Yes. >> World War I and World War II. >> World War II. >> And the Korean War as well. >> Yes. So thank you for bringing the [INAUDIBLE] as well of their memories, and thank you again to Colonel Charley's daughter, yay, Katherine, who is filming this video. So, everybody, thank you so much for joining me in both Ireland, all of Ireland now ... I will be on my way to Wales, so thank you. Thank you. Bye!