South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo formally marked the passing of former U.S. Forces Korea commander William Livsey, known for starting and concluding his military career in South Korea.
Livsey died on June 18 at age 85. The late general served his first combat tour in 1953 during the Korean War and concluded his 35-year military career as USFK commander in 1987. He also served during the Vietnam War.
"The bond between the Korean people and General Livsey was a special one, as he was a man whose military career began and ended in the Republic of Korea," Han said in a condolence letter read by Maj. Gen. Shin Kyung-soo, defense attache at the South Korean Embassy, at a memorial service in Fayetteville, Georgia, on Saturday.
The brief service was held, instead of a formal funeral, in accordance with Livsey's wish that no troops should be mobilized for his funeral when they are supposed to conduct training exercises.
During the service, Livsey's remains were scattered at General Livsey Memorial Field established at his alma mater, the University of North Georgia.
Those in attendance included former U.S. Army Chief of Staff Dennis Reimer and former Korean War veterans.
"Sixty-six years ago, the Republic of Korea stood as the poorest nation on the globe. The commitment rendered towards the defense of the Republic of Korea and the advancement of the ROK-U.S. alliance by individuals such as General Livsey is the very reason Korea is able to witness the freedom and prosperity it enjoys today," Han said in the message.
"Our service members will not forget the sacrifice and dedication that General Livsey displayed," he said. (Yonhap)