Hartford, Connecticut November 2012

Hartford, Connecticut November 2012

Commentary & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb

For several years now America’s Korean War veterans have been making their presence known, marching in parades across the country with a message – “Freedom Is Not Free”.

It is hard to fathom that the Korean War which resulted in 33,686 American deaths,103,234 wounded American service members. 4,759 Americans Missing in Action and 7,140 American Prisoners of War could ever be considered the “Forgotten War”. Nonetheless, that has been the case.042

Yesterday, on the 60th Anniversary of the Signing of the Korean War Armistice, the president laid a wreath at the Korean War Veterans Memorial saying – “Here in America, no war should ever be forgotten, and no veteran should ever be overlooked.” The day also included “Heroes Remembered”, an Armistice Day Peace Concert & Vigil.

The ceremonies were just a few of many. Twilight Tattoo was held on July 24, an hour-long military pageant that featured soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment known too as The Old Guard and the U.S. Army Marching Band. On July 25, the Marine Corps held an Evening Parade and on July 26 Operation Reckless, honored SSgt Reckless  with an unveiling and dedication of an exhibit about the warrior horse at the Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia. In August, the KW60 Committe plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Prisoner of War exchange in Seoul, South Korea.

These commemorations were held not only to mark an anniversary but to honor the men and women who fought against tyranny, a tyranny that at the time was feared could spread. Perhaps for awhile it was hard to relate to that fear. No longer, with the threat of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons now front and center. It has emphasized the importance of the contributions of the Korean War veterans – especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the country. The chapters of their lives remain unwritten so that we may be free.

Some who died on foreign soil so far from home could not be identified and are symbolized by the unknown soldier from the Korean War in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

The statistics of the Korean War are staggering. Certainly, America’s ‘Forgotten War’ makes unforgettable the message  – “Freedom Is Not Free.”