It is a day for remembering, the 60th anniversary of the cease-fire in the Korean War. The anniversary will be observed Saturday, July 27, at the Washington Korean War Memorial in Krog Park. The 10 a.m. program is expected to draw many Korean War veterans, their relatives and many others to mark the end of The Forgotten War (1950-53).
It was termed The Forgotten War because it was pretty well ignored even when the cease-fire occurred and when the troops came home. In some instances, it wasn’t mentioned when other wars this country has engaged in were discussed or listed. This fact is rather difficult to understand because we had a draft of men and more than 55,000 casualties!
The Korean War was overshadowed by World War II (1941-45). After that world war, most Americans were tired of war and blocked out the Korean War in their minds. The Korean War veterans received no parades or fanfare. Most of the veterans rarely talked about their experiences. Hardly anyone except their families were interested.
In many circles today, people finally are calling it The Forgotten Victory. It was a victory. The United Nation forces, mainly the United States, drove the invading North Korean and Chinese forces out of South Korea and saved the country from communism. One only has to look at South Korea today to see that it was a victory. South Korea is a democracy, cloaked in freedoms. It has a vigorous economy and is modern in every aspect.
Think of what South Korea would be today if North Korea, aided by China and Russia, had won the war. People are starving in North Korea, its economy is weak, there has been little progress toward modern standards, and worst of all, it’s a police state. Individual freedoms are suppressed. Communism with its dictatorship has failed.
It is appropriate that the 60th anniversary of the cease-fire will be marked in many cities and towns Saturday. It will be a deserving tribute to the veterans who served and who for too many years have been forgotten. It’s a “thank you” and appreciated by the men and women who served and answered their country’s call.