We all should proudly remember the veterans of the Korean War as the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that brought the war to an end was on Saturday.
Sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten War,” the service and supreme sacrifice of the lives of the more than 137,000 American service members should never be forgotten. Nor can it be forgotten by the 4,713 POWs, 105,000 recipients who still bear the scars of the Korean War for which they received the Purple Heart, and the 34,000 killed in action.
There were 5.7 million troops from 21 nations who fought in and around the Korean Peninsula. A total of 3 million Koreans died, most of them civilians, along with 1 million Chinese.
One of the most brutal and unpopular wars in our young country’s history, the Korean War was characterized by savagely violent fighting and the severe hardships that were endured by the American, United Nations and South Korean soldiers who were drastically unprepared for the initial attack, all the way through the Chosin Reservoir.
Because the Korean War came so closely on the heels of World War II, it was very unpopular on the home front. Then and now, the American people had no understanding of the significance of the war, nor did they understand either the savage fighting that was taking place or the hardships that our service men and women had to endure while serving in Korea.
Even President Harry S. Truman called America’s involvement in the Korean hostilities a “police action,” to avoid reminding the country that we were again at war!