Offbeat

60 Years Later The Korean War is Still Forgotten

Recently, I was heading into a liqueur store to pick-up some provisions. What made this visit different than most was the fact there were Korean War vets outside asking for donations. If you’re curious, I gave them a couple of bucks. As I headed home feeling pretty good about myself, because I had a thirty pack and donated some dough, I began to ponder why these elderly gentlemen were taking up donations. It then dawned on me, this year was the 60th anniversary of the Korean conflict.

If this was any other military conflict in recent U.S. history, there may not have been a need for these specific vets to raise money. It may occur from time to time, but Korea is America’s forgotten war. It was sandwiched between the heroism of WW II and the disaster in Vietnam. It also doesn’t have the benefit of being a conflict within recent memory, like the Gulf War, or the more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The reasons for sending American troops into Korea isn’t that difficult to explain, but, depending on who you ask, answers will vary. On one side, there’s the belief that America was protecting people who were incapable of defending themselves. Because the Cold War was going on, the U.S. had to step up against communist nations, mainly the USSR and China, both of which were recent converts to communism. This was part of the “Domino theory,” which believed that if one country fell to communism, others would follow. So, if Korea became communist, there was a strong fear that a country like Japan would as well. By going into Korea, the U.S. could attack the USSR without direct confrontation.

Of course, there’s also the conspiracy theorist perspective. Some believe that the Council on Foreign Relations caused America’s involvement in Korea. The CFR apparently control politics, education and media in America to steer the world’s elite into a One-World Government, or the New World Order. By going into Korea, the CFR would validate the NWO’s military branch, NATO, and would help in eventually destroying America’s sovereignty and Constitution.

Whatever reason you believe, most people will agree that America had a strong interest in Asia following World War II. For example, the Yalta Conference in 1945, allowed the U.S. and USSR to occupy Korea by dividing it at the 38th parallel. By withdrawing U.S. troops in 1949, an open invitation for foreign invaders was delivered. From there, the Korean peninsula became an instant hot spot.

In the early morning of April 25, 1950, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Army (North Korea) opened fire on the Republic of Korea (South Korea). At 11 a.m. North Korea declared a formal declaration of war. President Truman called for a cease fire and that all North Korean troops to move back beyond the 38th parallel. The next day, fighting heats up in the Korean peninsula. Truman meets with General Douglas MacArthur and authorizes him to send ammunition and equipment to prevent the loss of Seoul, provide ships and aircraft to evacuate American citizens, plus Air Force fighters and Navy ships to protect the evacuation, and send a survey party to Korea to study the situation and determine how best to help the ROK government and military. Later in the day President Truman expanded his instructions by ordering General MacArthur to use Air Force aircraft and Navy ships against all North Korean military targets south the 38th Parallel. General MacArthur issues an “alert order” telling all combat units in the Far East to prepare for possible deployment to Korea.

During the coming months, more and more U.N. troops head into Korea, as the conflict escalates into full scale battles. By April of 1951, U.N. forces drive the communists back to the 38th parallel and retake Seoul. On July 10, 1951, truce talks began, with both sides agreeing the 38th Parallel as the line of demarcation. From August 18 to September 5, the 15th Field Artillery Battalion set a record by firing 14,425 rounds in 24 hours during what would become known as the Battle of Bloody Ridge.

Fighting continued into 1953, including violent clashes at Heartbreak Ridge, Bunker Hill and Pork Chop Hill. Final U.S. ground combat happened during July 24-26, 1953. On July 27, the final air kill of the war took place, and, the U.S., China and North Korea signed an armistice. However, North and South Korea have still never signed a peace treaty, although they signed a non-aggression treaty in 1991.

Ultimately, the Korean War ended in a stalemate. Some saw it as a loss, like General MacArthur who wanted an all out war, hence one of the reasons he was fired by President Truman. Others saw it as a victory, because it succeeded in containing Communism and prevented a larger war, like WW III. However, ever since Korea, America has participated in numerous small and bloody battles, like the DMZ War from 1966-1969, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and conflicts in Africa and Latin America.

All that and we haven’t even mentioned the casualties. There were 6.8 million American men and women who served in Korea from 1950 to 1953. There were 54,200 Americans killed in action, 7,140 POW’s, with only 4,418 returning to the U.S, and 103,284 wounded in action. Counting all U.N. troops, and civilians, around four million people lost their lives during the Korean War. Because of these numbers, the Korean War should never be forgotten.

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  1. DOROTHY says:

    TO ALL BRAVE & SMART AMERICAN SOLDIERS & SOUTH KOREAN SOLDIERS , THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR AMAZING LIFE , FAITHFUL SERVICE , VERY HOROIC SACRIFICE & SUFFERINGS DURING THE HORRABLE KOREAN WAR. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR AMAZING BRAVE & COURAGE TO FIGHT FROM THE EVIL COMMUNIST NORTH KOREA & COMMUNIST CHINA. EVEN I'M NOT FROM KOREA , ( IM FROM PHILIPPINES ) , I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THE HOROIC SACRIFICE & SUFFERINGS YOU ALL DID. YOUR ARE ALL A GREAT BRAVE HERO. YOU ALL DESERVED THE CROWN OF GLORY IN HEAVEN. I RESPECT , HONOR , SALUTE & ADMIRE ALL OF YOU. GOD BLESS U. S. A , GOD BLESS SOUTH KOREA & GOD BLESS PHILIPPINES. — IN CHRIST ; DORY