National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day is an observance that recognizes the nearly 6 million Korean War veterans who served in the conflict, as well as all of those service members who were wounded or paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives. This holiday is observed annually on July 27th and is not only observed on U.S. military bases and cemeteries but is also increasingly observed by the general public. This makes it a holiday that is observed all over the United States and in South Korea every year.

The History of National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

On July 27, 1953, the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed by U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison Jr. on behalf of the United Nations Command, North Korean General Nam Il representing the Korean People’s Army, and Peng Dehuai representing the PVA—or Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. This armistice was designed to bring an end to hostilities in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is reached. The signed armistice established the Korean Demilitarized Zone that exists between North and South Korea.

Facts About the Korean War

While we researched this holiday, we decided to do some additional research on the Korean War. The following bullet points of facts are what we discovered over the course of our research. Let’s take a look at them before discussing how this holiday is observed.

  • After the Japanese surrendered at the end of WWII, Korea was divided into two parts. The area north of the 38th parallel was occupied by the Soviet Union, and the area south was occupied by the U.S.
  • In 1948, the Republic of Korea was established in the south, and in the north, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was established.
  • About 90% of all the troops sent to aid South Korea were sent by the U.S.
  • The U.S. spent about $67 billion on the Korean War.
  • As of April 2021, there are over 7,500 American soldiers still unaccounted for from the Korean War.
  • There were over 103,000 service members wounded during the Korean War.
  • Over 217,000 South Korean service members and 1 million civilians went missing or were killed during the Korean War.
  • Although the armistice brought an end to hostilities in Korea, the Korean War has never officially ended because there was never a peace treaty signed.
  • Kenneth R. Shadrick, a U.S. private from Wyoming, West Virginia, was one of the first American combat fatalities of the war.

Observing National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

In the United States and South Korea, this holiday is celebrated with services at military bases and cemeteries. There are also visits to the DMZ in South Korea, an area that runs for 150 miles along the 38th parallel. In the U.S., many times the Secretary of Defense will give a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. It’s also a day that’s observed all over the U.S. by ordinary citizens who want to acknowledge the soldiers who served in this war.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 27 Saturday
Next year (2025)
July 27 Sunday
Last year (2023)
July 27 Thursday