ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) – Gov. Larry Hogan met with Hwang Ki-chul, South Korea’s minister of veterans affairs Friday in Annapolis.

After the meeting, Hwang presented a plaque of appreciation to Sam Fielder, a Korean War veteran from Harford County, according to a statement from Hogan’s office. More than 15,000 Marylanders served in the Korean War. Of those, 531 were killed in action.

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“My wife, the First Lady, tells every Korean War veteran she meets that she would not be here today if it were not for the dedication and sacrifice of Americans who enabled freedom for South Korea,” Hogan said in the statement. “Out of the ashes, Korea has blossomed in the decades that followed the war. It is now an economic powerhouse, one of the world’s largest economies, and a great partner with the state of Maryland. All of that is possible because of what our brave servicemen and women – heroes like Sam Fielder – did there so many years ago.”

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In 2018, Maryland became the first state in the nation to commemorate a Welcome Home Korean War Veterans Day, according to the statement.

Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan on Friday also participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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CBS Baltimore Staff