President Eisenhower Korean War Armistice announcement – July 26, 1953
After three years of fighting and two years of attempts at a peace settlement, an Armistice had finally been reached ending the War in Korea. Announced by President Eisenhower, the Armistice was finally settled at 10:00 am on July 27th (in Korea), and it was announced an hour later (still the 26th) in Washington.
President Eisenhower: “My fellow citizens:
Tonight we greet, with prayers of thanksgiving, the official news that an armistice was signed almost an hour ago in Korea. It will quickly bring to an end the fighting between the United Nations forces and the Communist armies. For this Nation the cost of repelling aggression has been high. In thousands of homes it has been incalculable. It has been paid in terms of tragedy.
With special feelings of sorrow–and of solemn gratitude–we think of those who were called upon to lay down their lives in that far-off land to prove once again that only courage and sacrifice can keep freedom alive upon the earth. To the widows and orphans of this war, and to those veterans who bear disabling wounds, America renews tonight her pledge of lasting devotion and care.
Our thoughts turn also to those other Americans wearied by many months of imprisonment behind the enemy lines. The swift return of all of them will bring joy to thousands of families. It will be evidence of good faith on the part of those with whom we have signed this armistice.
Soldiers, sailors, and airmen of 16 different countries have stood as partners beside us throughout these long and bitter months. America’s thanks go to each. In this struggle we have seen the United Nations meet the challenge of aggression–not with pathetic words of protest, but with deeds of decisive purpose. It is proper that we salute particularly the valorous armies of the Republic of Korea, for they have done even more than prove their right to freedom. Inspired by President Syngman Rhee, they have given an example of courage and patriotism which again demonstrates that men of the West and men of the East can fight and work and live together side by side in pursuit of a just and noble cause.”
This special broadcast features President Eisenhower’s announcement of the Armistice as well as statements by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, UN Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold and others commenting on the end of a long and costly war.
Here is that broadcast from July 26, 1953.