Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Susan Medler
PH 816.268.8245
FAX 816.268.8299

United Nations Peacekeepers Honored at Truman Library on May 31

INDEPENDENCE, MO-The Greater Kansas City United Nations Association and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum will mark the 60th anniversary of United Nations peacekeeping operations and pay tribute to U.N. peacekeepers who made the ultimate sacrifice with a public program titled Tribute to the Blue Helmets: The 60th Anniversary of United Nations Peacekeeping at the Truman Library on Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 2 p.m. The program will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the U.N. Peace Plaza, located near the Truman District in Independence, Missouri.

Guest speakers for the commemorative program include Major General Anis A. Bajwa, U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). General Bajwa retired from the Pakistan Army in 2003 to join the DPKO, where he now serves as director of the Policy, Evaluation and Training Division. His U.N. peacekeeping experience includes assignments in Somalia, where he served as Chief of Staff at the force headquarters, and in Georgia, where he was Chief Military Observer.

Lt. Colonel Graeme Finney will also be featured in the public program. In 2000, Lt. Colonel Finney was honored for distinguished service in East Timor, where he commanded the 103rd Medium Battery of the Australian Army as part of the International Force for East Timor, a multinational United Nations force mandated to bring peace to the fledgling nation in 1999.

The first U.N. peacekeeping operation, established during President Truman's administration, monitored the armistice ending the 1948 war between the new State of Israel and its neighbors. The second, also during Truman's tenure in the White House, observed the peace between the newly independent states of India and Pakistan. Since these early peacekeeping missions, the U.N. Security Council has authorized 61 operations, most recently the African Union/U.N. Hybrid force in Darfur and the U.N. mission in the Central African Republic and Chad. In the course of these 63 peacekeeping operations, more than 2,400 soldiers from U.N. member states have lost their lives in efforts to secure the peace. The May 31 program honors the courage and sacrifice of these 2,461 men and women.

Advance tickets for this event are available for $12 through the Greater Kansas City United Nations Association at www.una-kc.org and include Museum admission at the Truman Library, entry to the pre-event reception, and priority seating in the Truman Library's Missouri Auditorium.

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and is located at 24 Highway and Delaware in historic Independence, Mo., twenty minutes from downtown Kansas City. There is ample free parking, with numerous nearby attractions, boutiques and restaurants.

Hailed as home to America's "best presidential museum," the Truman Library is one of 12 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is supported, in part, by the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, the not-for-profit partner of the Truman Library. The Institute seeks to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history and culture, the process of governance, and the importance of public service, as exemplified by Harry S. Truman. To learn more about the Truman Library and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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