Forgotten no more: Korean War veterans from Hawaii honored at ceremony
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Saturday marked the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War, when North Korean forces aligned with the Soviet Union and China to invade U.S.-backed South Korea.
A special ceremony honored Korean War veterans at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
About 50 veterans and their families attended the commemoration hosted by the Korean War Veterans Association Hawaii Chapter 1 and Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Honolulu.
“Without the participation of the U.S. military in the Korean war, we would not see the current status of Korea now. That’s why the we are gathered here to express our deep gratitude to the veterans,” said Seok-In Hong, consul general of the Republic of Korea in Honolulu.
The Korean government presented Ambassador for Peace Medals to veterans in Hawaii.
Korean former prime minister Kyo-Ahn Hwang and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command commander Admiral John C. Aquilino were among the dignitaries who came to recognize the service of millions of Americans — thousands from Hawaii — who fought alongside Koreans from 1950 to 1953.
“Their sacrifices will never be forgotten. As we remember their devotion to duty, let us renew our shared commitment to defend freedom, liberty, and to continue to pursue peace,” Admiral Aquilino said.
The Korean government estimates says more than 450 military service men and women from Hawaii were killed in action in the war and about 160 veterans are living across the state.
“It means so much to me that South Korea has honored us and told us that we appreciate the sacrifice that you gave us,” said KWVA Hawaii Chapter 1 president Herbert Schreiner.
“But most of all, you know who the heroes are. The parents, the husband and the wives because when they came back, no arms, no legs, broke, blind. The family is the one that taking care of them,”
The so-called “Forgotten War” ended in an armistice and the creation of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula.
“Thank you South Korea, thank you for not forgetting us and most of all, all you people know what freedom is. thank you so much,” Schreiner said.
Technically, the Korean Peninsula remains at war because no peace treaty was signed, and concerns over nuclear threats from North Korea remain.
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