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July 24, 1953, the UN forces, a thin cover for the United States, and the Chinese, with their new client state the North Koreans, stopped shooting at each other across the Korean Demilitarized Zone. This year is also the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of the war, started when the North Korean communists launched a lightening strike south, nearly winning before the U.S. could get enough troops, with the right equipment, supply lines, and leadership into place. This was the first war of the nuclear era, with the Soviets and U.S. each possessing deployable atomic bombs. Neither the Russians nor the United States wanted to have done to their cities what we had done to two Japanese cities. This was an important condition underlying the unwillingness to seek total victory. Today, South Korea stands as a sharp rebuke to any who would excuse or romanticize communism. Children born during that war on the two sides of the line have had such different lives. The two societies from one people have diverged so markedly.
Here is the annual presidential proclamation, designating July 27 as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day: