In a list compiled by MSN for Memorial Day, Col. Young-Oak Kim (1919-2005) was named as one of 16 greatest war heroes to have served the United States. Kim, honored for his service during World War II and the Korean War, was a second-generation Korean American born in Los Angeles in 1919, The Chosun Ilbo reports. The newspaper also noted that Kim served as a combat troop and eventually became the first Asian American battalion commander.
Kim was named alongside historical figures like George Washington, who fought in the Revolutionary War, and Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant for their service during the Civil War. Other major figures included Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur, as well as Vietnam veterans like Senators John McCain and John Kerry.
It’s great to call ourselves “Korean-American” because it’s a reference to both our heritage and our citizenship. It would be easy for us to eat the BBQ and drink some beers during this 3 day holiday weekend and forget why we’re having fun, but it’s really a weekend to remind us that we reside in the U.S. and have such freedoms because of the 36,000 U.S. soldiers and 140,000 South Korean soldiers that sacrificed their lives during the Korean War (AKA “The Forgotten War”) for our grandparents, our parents, and ultimately us. The recent sinking of the South Korean ship by North Korea is the strongest reminder to date that there are two countries still at conflict and that it would take one fateful decision by Kim Jong-Il to disrupt not only the Korean peninsula but the rest of the world. This past weekend is a reminder that hundreds of thousands of lives have confronted such evils throughout history and that without such intervention, we could all be living under a suppressive rule. Let’s be thankful that we live free. If you ever see a vet or serviceman, why not say “thank you.”
President Obama, congress, and the senate would not have felt so compelled to pass and sign the Korean War Veterans Recognition Act had it not been for the grassroots effort of Korean-American Ms. Hannah Kim. This past Monday was National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day which remembered the agreement in 1953 that temporarily ended hostilities between North and South Korea. What Hannah Kim did was help us remember the Forgotten War and remind us that tens of thousands of American soldiers and Korean civilians lost their lives over the conflict, and that the Koreas are still at war.
Ms. Kim established a group called Remember July 27 (remember727.org) to help Americans recognize the significance of the Korean War and to remember the sacrifices of American soldiers who fought in it. The group has been promoting the cause in the U.S. administration and the Congress for the last year. Kim persuaded White House officials using her connections from her days in the U.S. Peace Corps Headquarters and the U.S. Institute of Peace. Along with Remember July 27, she visited the offices of all 435 congressmen to ask for their support for the act.
Korean Beacon salutes Ms. Hannah Kim for her efforts. May this conflict someday end peacefully.
Today is a historic day for all Korean-Americans because it was on this day, July 27th, back in 1953 that the Korean War Armistice agreement was signed to create a temporary truce and to suspend hostilities between North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) and South Korea (Republic of Korea, ROK). It also allowed for the transfer of POW’s and a set demarcation line with a 2.4 Mile demilitarization zone aka DMZ. Unfortunately, this did not end the Korean War and till this day, North and South Korea are technically still at war. Today is a day to remember the sacrifices of our grandparents and the American Soldiers who traveled across the Pacific to a country and people they did not know and ultimately defend them against the aggression of North Korea. Let us not forget that the Korean War – which is known as the Forgotten War – claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million Koreans and more than 36,000 American soldiers; additionally, American soldiers accounted for over 92,000 wounded, over 8,000 MIA, and over 7,000 POWs*. Let’s remember and thank those American soldiers who sacrificed so that we could have freedom. Korean Beacon thanks them!!!
This past weekend, President Obama declared July 27th as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. On this day, U.S. flags will be at half staff.
Official Press Release From The White House
Fifty-six years after the signing of the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjom, Americans remain grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our Korean War veterans. More than 600,000 United States and allied combatants lost their lives in Korea during the 3 years of bitter warfare that ended on July 27, 1953. Many were also injured, taken as prisoners of war, and missing in action. These dedicated servicemen and women, under the banner of the United Nations, fought to secure the blessings of freedom and democracy on the Korean Peninsula, and they deserve our unending respect and gratitude.
Every day we are reminded of the selfless service of these veterans. The Korean War Veterans Memorial stands in our Nation’s Capital as an enduring tribute to them. Marching among juniper bushes and rows of granite, Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen silently remind all who glimpse their faces of the great challenges that so many Americans overcame. The strong partnership between the United States and the Republic of Korea is also a proud testament to our men and women in uniform.
Today we remember and honor the valor of Korean War veterans and the extraordinary sacrifices that they and their families made in the cause of peace.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 27, 2009, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor and give thanks to our distinguished Korean War veterans. I also ask Federal departments and agencies and interested groups, organizations, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on July 27, 2009, in memory of the Americans who died as a result of their service in Korea.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
Let us never forget the “forgotten war,” and the veterans who served our country to provide the freedoms that we so enjoy today. Had it not been for these brave soldiers, we would be under the crazy propaganda of Kim Jong-Il. Thankfully, the House of Representatives is considering a resolution today to honor the Korean War Vets. It’s unbelievable that this hasn’t happened until now!
The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a resolution to honor the 6.8 million Americans who served in the Korean War by adding Korean War Armistice Day, July 27, to the list of days on which the American flag is displayed at half-staff.
The resolution (H.R. 2632) was introduced on Memorial Day by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., a Korean War veteran. The resolution is co-sponsored by more than 40 representatives, including John Conyers, D-Mich.; and Sam Johnson, R-Texas, who are also veterans of the Korean War.
Current tensions with North Korea make the lessons and sacrifices from the Korean War pertinent. Sandwiched between World War II and Vietnam, “The Forgotten War” claimed 54,246 American casualties. Altogether, the three-year war created 4 million military and civilian casualties.
Korean War veterans will gather in Washington on July 27 to commemorate the freedom for which they fought.
Dear Fellow Korean-Americans:
Almost sixty years ago, young American soldiers went to fight for a country and people they never knew and never met. Some did not return, and many were wounded – but thanks to their sacrifices, we are here. So I entreat you to spend just 10 minutes of your time to express our gratitude.
I’m earnestly requesting your help to pass the Korean War VeteransRecognition Act, HR2632, which would add National Korean War Armistice Day, July 27, to the list of days on which the American flag should be specially displayed at half-staff (see Fact Sheet and Dear Colleague letter). Our target date is before July 27.
I’m just a grateful K-American wanting to honor our Vets for the freedom I enjoy here and the sacrifices they made for the land where my grandparents lie. As fellow beneficiaries of the blood shed on our behalf, I hope you’d join us in our efforts.
Here’s a nice story out of Arkansas about John Pak who is the owner of the Shogun restaurant and how he opened his restaurant doors to veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It’s his way of showing appreciation to the many soldiers who served. According to Mr. Pak’s story, American soldiers saved his father’s life and for that he’s indebted to them.
Pak was raised in a small farm town north of Seoul, South Korea. Poverty was widespread. Food, medication and clothing were scarce.
“I have a memory, when I was young, of the Americans,” Pak said. “I ate their cornbread, dry milk; they gave blankets, clothes, medicine.” Read>
For many of us, we’re here in America and not living in oppressive North Korea because of the many U.S. military man who served and sacrificed in the Korean War. Today is Memorial Day and so let us pause to think about what could have been had it not been for the U.S. intervening and let us not forget the many Korean and American lives sacrificed. The Korean War is know as the forgotten war but let us not forget.
Dead — United States: 54,246, United Nations: 628,833
Wounded — United States: 103,284, United Nations: 1,064,453.
Captured — United States: 7,140, United Nations: 92,970.
Missing — United States: 8,177, United Nations: 470,267.
Below is a video we found from a gentlemen who created a video to thank his father for his service.