It was the war that stopped, but didn't officially end.
Fifty-nine years after the United States and the United Nations signed an armistice agreement with North Korea and China to end the three-year-old Korean War, all the parties to the war are still technically at war. No formal peace treaty was ever signed.
"During the terrible war, nearly 1.8 million members of the United States Armed Forces served alongside the forces of the Republic of Korea and 20 other allied nations from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953," Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said in a statement marking the 59th anniversary of the armistice on Friday. In those three years, the "war was responsible for taking 36,574 American lives and wounding over 103,000," said Rangel, a veteran of the war.
Veterans had "halted the tide of Communism on the Korean Peninsula and it is largely because of their efforts that the Republic of Korea was able to develop into a modern and prosperous democracy," Rangel said.
Below are some photos of the first few months of the war and from the time of the armistice. (A more detailed history of the war can be found on the Korean War 60th Anniversary Commemoration Committee website.)
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivers the keynote remarks at the 59th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery's Memorial Amphitheater on Friday.(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
A view from a South Korean front line lookout post along the 38th parallel, on June 8, 1950. On the immediate left is South Korea. North Koreans controlled the territory to the right and along the valley in the center.(AP Photo/Charles Gorry)
Gen. Douglas MacArthur "went to Korea to study conditions at first hand following the communist attack from North Korea," according to the original AP photo caption.(AP Photo)
Jets launching from an aircraft carrier somewhere in Korean waters on July 18, 1950.(AP Photo)
A Republic of Korea soldier (left) and an American officer search the pockets of a dead North Korean soldier left behind by retreating Communist troops during a U.S. Marines' counterattack in hills near Yongsan on Sept. 4, 1950.(AP Photo)
Prisoners are flushed out by a U.S. patrol operating in North Korea south of Kusong, on Nov. 16, 1950.(AP Photo/Life -- Hank Walker)
The last wounded U.N. soldier to be evacuated from Pyongyang before it was abandoned by retreating United Nations forces is loaded aboard a transport plane at Pyongyang airfield on Dec. 7, 1950. It was the last such plane out before Chinese troops took the city.(AP Photo/Max Desfor)
Soldiers strip gear from a Pershing tank after overturning it to keep the road clear during a retreat of United Nations forces from North Korea on Dec. 14, 1950. Later a demolition crew burned the machine.(AP Photo)
Chinese prisoners (left), rounded up by U.S. Marines (right), somewhere in the mountains of North Korea, on Dec. 22, 1950.(AP Photo)
U.S. troops, surrounded at night by fast-moving Chinese troops, "let loose with mortars, machine guns and recoilless weapons on Jan. 8, 1951," according to the original AP photo caption. Chinese flares rise from hills in the background.(AP Photo/ENJ)
Soldiers of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division search for enemy lines and positions on Jan. 24, 1951.(AP Photo/U.S. Department of Defense)
Two U.S. Second Division soldiers use a screw-driver and bayonet tip as they probe for mines on the road from Changnyong to the Naktong River South of Taegu on Sept. 10, 1950.(AP Photo/Jim Primgle)
Four Marines on July 26, 1953, read news in an official handout that an armistice to end the war was about to be signed at Panmunjom.(AP Photo/George Sweers)
Three American Marines (left to right) -- Pfc. Clarence Hara, Alumbank, Pa.; Cpl. Jean Holland, Americus, Ga.; and Pfc. Carl Toker, Mt. Wolf, Pa. -- destroy their bunkers on a forward observation post on the western front preparatory to withdrawal from the demilitarized zone under terms of the armistice on July 28.(AP Photo/CLH)
Maj. Gen. Blackshear M. Bryan (left) exchanges credentials with North Korean Lt. Gen. Lee Sang Cho at the opening session of the military armistice commission at the Panmunjom conference house. At Lee's right is Chinese Gen. Ting Kuo Jo and, at Ting's right, Chinese Gen. Tsai Cheng Wen.(AP Photo)