Legacy of Service - The Missourian: Opinion

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Legacy of Service

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:31 am

Area veterans of “America’s Forgotten War” were anything but forgotten Saturday morning.

The 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice observance at Washington Krog Park was a fitting tribute to a group of veterans who sometimes have been overlooked in our country’s history.

They weren’t overlooked Saturday.

A nice crowd turned out to hear veterans, political leaders, including Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer and South Koreans pay tribute to the sacrifices of those who served in Korea.

It was an impressive ceremony. You couldn’t help being moved by the expressions of gratitude from the two South Korean speakers, Suann Taylor, who resides in Union, and Han Ko, who lives in St. Louis. Both said they wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the veterans.

But the real stars of the event were the veterans, most in their 80s and some in wheelchairs, whose service and sacrifice was heralded by the speakers and the veterans themselves.

Frank Williams, the state commander of the Korean War Veterans Association, said it best when he remarked, “Looking out at the faces of the veterans gathered here today, you can see the meaning of service.”

Williams was right on. So were Nixon and Luetkemeyer when they pointed out that the accomplishments of the veterans can be seen today in the stark contrast of North and South Korea.

Six decades after the war, South Korea is a stable and vibrant democracy with one of the world’s most dynamic economies which is in stark contrast to the repression in North Korea where the people are starving.

We join the rest of the community in saluting Korean War veterans and their legacy of service.

/opinion