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Honoring Korean War Veterans

by 김언정기자 posted Jul 01, 2013
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Honoring Korean War Veterans
"It is not the forgotten war and their ultimate sacrifice should be remembered always."

 
By Anna Kim
Staff Writer
 

Atlanta marked the 63rd anniversary of Korean War on June 22nd, 2013, honoring all Korean War veterans in Georgia. The theme of the commemorative observance was focused on South Korea's rise from ashes and the [forgotten] war's lasting significance. The Korean American Scholarship Foundation, Southern Region, had an opportunity to explain how the scholarships [estimated $20,000 per year] for the veterans' posterity are being established and how they can apply for them.  
Kim Hee Beom, the South Korean consul general in Atlanta, stated, “We have never forgotten the North Korean invasion in the early morning hours of June 25, 1950, which brought the country to the brink of extinction, not for a single day in the last 63 years.” He added, “The sacrifice of both U.S. and Korean soldiers served as a foundation for us to regain hope. We have been and always will be grateful.”
Over the three years of fighting there were 37,000 battle deaths, 2,830 non-battle deaths, and 8,176 missing in action. The bloody tragedy claimed 740 Georgian soldiers as well.
“We fought for freedom and freedom has its price, always has, always will” said Robert McCubbins, president of the Korean War Veterans Association, GA Chapter, “But that's not something we can allow ourselves to forget. It was a difficult time and a time in which we lost a lot of our beloved ones. The memories are still clear and poignant for us.”
According to Mr. McCubbins, most of the chapter members are in their 80s and some 40 of the total 90 are active members. The members reflect on the Korean War, getting together for lunch every other month at a French restaurant in downtown. 
Needless to say, act of appreciation assuages Korean War veterans. But they say they feel neglected by the country while they were never ostracized or mistreated as some Vietnam veterans were.
“The Korean War tends to be ignored to all accounts and purposes, said Thomas Barto, who fought in Korea more than 60 years ago. “One reason was that the Korean War was never officially a war. It went down in the records as a police action of the United Nations.” 
He is quick to point out that for the Korean War-he does not use the term conflict or police action-8,176 American servicemen are still listed as missing in action, compared with 2,459 in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He said nearly 390 were listed as prisoners of war in Korea and had yet to be accounted for.
“The problem of Korean veterans was that they were not as vocal as the World War II guys or those who fought in Vietnam,” Mr. Barto added. “But our time has come, and our voice is being heard.
In recent years, Georgia has made a public recognition for Korean veterans by installing monuments honoring them in the parks or museums.
Last year the Korean War Veterans of Georgia(KWVG), Gainesville-Hall County Chapter, along with members of the Good Neighboring Foundation unveiled a monument inscribed with the names of the 11 war dead from Georgia at Rock Creek Park in Gainesville.
Paul Scroggs, president of KWVG, Gainesville, noted that the construction of the monument would not have been possible without the financial help of Korean-Americans from Metro Atlanta. He pointed out that they donated more than half of the proceeds needed to erect the monument.
"The monument would be a tribute to the war's lasting significance. It is also meant to reflect the international nature of the war, in which some 20 countries participated, as well as showing appreciation for the 53,000 Americans killed and 103,000 woudned there," said Mr. Scroggs. "Remembrance has come to take shape."
 

김언정기자

Korean War veterans salute as a wreath of remembrance is laid at the new monument at Rock Creek Park in Gainesville.
 
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A ceremony to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of Korean War in Atlanta.
 
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A keepsake photo to commemorate the unforgettable ceremony. 
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Korean War Memorial dedicated on Veterans Day 1993 in Atlanta at State Capitol Twin Towers.

Photo courtesy of Thomas C. Harris, General Raymond G. Davis Chapter, KWVA.

 

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