Sixty-four years ago today North Korean troops poured across the 38th Parallel, kicking off the first armed confrontation of the “Cold” War involving U.S. troops. Three years and 53,000 American lives later the war ground to a halt in stalemate.
Our soldiers and Marines fought in combat every bit as intense as that of WWII, against overwhelming numbers, in some of the worst weather American’s have ever endured, and stemmed the Communist tide, allowing a prosperous and vibrant South Korea to survive and join the community of nations. South Korea didn’t forget the sacrifices made for their survival and fought along side us in Vietnam, their tough as nails and fearless soldiers and Marines earning the undying respect and admiration of their American comrades in arms, a reputation they still hold with the following generations of vets.
Most Americans today probably don’t even know that we fought there, and if they do they couldn’t tell you why. Fewer still could tell you that we are still technically at war with North Korea and that there are frequent cross border firefights and NorK incursions into the South.
The sacrifices and valor of Korean vets, many of them WWII “retreads” pressed back into emergency service during the first dire days of the war, should never be forgotten.