Korea and what it meant

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Soldiers from the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division near the Ch'ongch'on River, 11/20/1950

Soldiers from the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division near the Ch’ongch’on River, 11/20/1950

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 and officially continues to this day.

It is the story of a lightning fast surprise invasion by more than 100,000 North Korean soldiers that engulfed almost all of South Korea within a few days.

It is also the story of a stubborn and desperate resistance in the southern tip of South Korea – the Puson Perimeter – after the initial invasion. The refusal to surrender prevented the North Koreans from consolidating their hold on the country, and kept the door open for the Inchon invasion in September.

Other storylines emerged too.

One of a daring counter punch three months later with an amphibious landing at Inchon that completely changed the tide of the war.

One of a brave fighting withdrawal in December from the Chosin Reservoir in bitter cold by 30,000 troops who faced about 120,000 Chinese troops.

The more than 30,000 American and over 200,000 Republic of Korean lives that were lost during the three year war ensured that South Korea would continue to enjoy the liberties that come from being free.

Almost lost in the statistics is the fact that the important concept of American military being subservient to civilian leadership was on full display when one of the military’s highest ranking officers was fired by his civilian President. Here is President Truman as he announces the dismissal of General MacArthur.

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It is used to be called the forgotten war. Personally, I don’t think that label applies any more. Korean War veterans paid a heavy price to ensure the freedom of millions of people across the sea. We all remember and honor the service and sacrifice of those who served in the Korean War.

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