SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) — A photographer and a defense firm from South Korea have honored Korean War veterans in the United States with framed photos and thank you messages at an event that commemorated their sacrifices during the 1950-53 conflict.

Rami Hyun and Hanwha Group have been conducting the “Remember 180 Project” in New York and Washington D.C. It aims to remember some 1.8 million American veterans and highlight the “180 degree shift” in South Korea’s status from a war-ravaged country.

Some 70 U.S. veterans received their black-and-white photos at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington D.C. on Wednesday (local time). Hyun took the photos last month, with Hanwha employees writing appreciative words on them.

“The photos well captured the weight of the life of the veterans who have overcome the difficult periods of the conflict,” the company said in a press release. “They were still soldiers in the photos, though the appearances of the youthful troops who wore uniforms 70 years ago have changed due to gray hair and deep wrinkles.”

The photographer has been taking photos of South Korean troops since 2013, in line with his self-imposed duty to remember the meaning of their uniforms in light of the long-running division of the Korean Peninsula.

Since encountering foreign war veterans at an exhibition in 2016, Hyun has decided to take their photos as symbolic records of their contribution to the defense of South Korea, once a target of communist invasion.

Hyun has been leading the photo work with his own fund as well as assistance from some nonprofit entities. Hanwha, which was started at the height of the war in 1952, has recently started to sponsor his project.

“When each record is collected together, it will make history … History will then be national pride,” the photographer said.

“There are many Korean War veterans alive. Before too late, I want to deliver my appreciation. I just want to make more of their records (through photography),” he added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency