National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
Some may not realize what actually happened in Korea back in 1950. To read about it makes you think and wonder how something like this can happen in such a small country. South Korea became colonized by Japan during WWII the Soviet Union backed North Korea in an attempt to take over the South. Little did they know the US Military would be right there to support and defend South Korea?
The three year war saw thousands and thousands injured and killed and still to this day over 7,000 unaccounted for. Imagine in your mind what it would be like to be in a country where the winters can reach 50 below zero and wind chill reaching 100 below zero. For those that made it home they will have to deal with those medical issues for the rest of their lives, trauma to the nervous system, skin and muscles, vascular conditions, foot-related injuries such as trench foot, frostbite scars and skin cancer.
For those that were there, it is said the majority of them would rather forget it and move on, they actually call it the "Forgotten War”. When they returned home there were no parades, there were no cheering crowds for the men and women who did their job. They were not recognized because there was no Peace Treaty signed.
As a VFW it is our duty to ensure these veterans are never forgotten and their sacrifices never go unnoticed. 27 July we celebrate and we honor our Korean War veterans.
Although the occasion doesn’t rate holiday status, it does go some way towards recognizing the sacrifice of 36,000 American lives in the three years of combat against totalitarian aggression on the Korean peninsula. Of the 5.7 million Americans in the military during the 1950-to-53 conflict, 1.8 million saw service in the Korean theater.
There remain among us some 1.15 million veterans of the Korean War era. This total includes 101,000 who also served during the Vietnam conflict in the 1960s, and nearly 12,000 who began service in World War II.
More than 23,600 U.S. service members had died during the fighting. Between 300,000 and 900,000 communist troops were killed, along with an estimated 2.5 million Korean civilians. South Korea's defense ministry estimates more than 137,000 South Korean troops died in the war. Relatively little territory changed hands, given the volume of the destruction the war caused.
Today, historians and even veterans of the conflict may call the war in Korea "The Forgotten War," but tucked on the National Mall, across from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, is a ghostly memorial designed to ensure that the conflict, those who served in it and the almost 25,000 American troops who died as a result are remembered. The memorial was dedicated in 1995 by then-President Bill Clinton and South Korea's then-President Kim Young Sam.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial was confirmed on April 20, 1986. On Flag Day in 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush presided over the groundbreaking on the National Mall, where the memorial now stands.
Three years after the memorial was finished, U.S. Code Title 36 was amended to recognize Korean War Veterans Armistice Day in the United States every July 27. While not a federal holiday, the law asks Americans to recognize the day with appropriate activities and ceremonies.
It also orders all U.S. government agencies and installations to fly the flag at half-staff to honor those who died to keep South Korea free from communism. American officials visit Arlington National Cemetery, and speeches are made to commemorate the day.
John A. Collier Sr.
Post 4534 Life Member
Sr. Vice Commander
House Committee Chairman