Magazine article VFW Magazine

Events to Remember: Korea on Track

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Events to Remember: Korea on Track

Article excerpt

The Pentagon's Korean War Commemoration Committee has a host of activities planned to remember the 50th anniversary over the next three years.

The U.S. and South Korea, and several other allied nations such as Canada and Turkey, are preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Korean War.

Planning has been under way for three years now. The first commemorations are scheduled for June to coincide with the war's beginning.

Heading the effort for the U.S. is Army Undersecretary for International Affairs Gayden Thompson at the helm of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee. It is handling the day-to-day planning for events, educational products and promotional materials. A similar committee led the worldwide commemorations for the 50th anniversary of WWII.

Thompson, who spoke at a recent meeting of veterans groups' representatives and tour operators, explained the goals of the commemoration. They are to thank and honor veterans and their families; recognize and remember POWs and MIAs; and inform and educate the public about veterans contributions and sacrifices, he said.


The first events on June 25 will be held in both Washington, D.C., and Seoul. Washington-based activities will include a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and the official opening ceremony at the Korean War Memorial, located near the Mall. These, like all events, are open to the public.

Other events in Washington, Korea and around the U.S, are planned throughout the three-year period. They will highlight the defense of and breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, the Chosin Reservoir campaign, battles for the Punchbowl, Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge, the armistice and more.

Thompson knows how important it is to educate Americans-especially young people-about sacrifice and the legacy of the Korean War. So he is going all out.

The committee has put together a variety of educational materials. These include posters; lesson plans with booklets and handout materials for teachers; book marks commemorating specific groups and events with brief histories on the back of each; and a number of fact sheets. The sheets include biographies, service contributions, foreign military efforts, battles and individual unit histories.

Committee members have appeared at national education conferences to offer these timely teaching aids to all educators.


Each military service also is planning to commemorate the Korean War. Aside from events on military bases, service historians are publishing histories about different aspects of the war.

For example, the Navy is printing a nine-booklet series on the Korean War and organizing lectures and conferences during the commemorative period.

Besides monographs or historical booklets, the Army and Air Force have created posters about the contributions of their services.

The Naval Institute Press, on behalf of the Navy and Marine Corps, will release a CD-ROM with several historical texts, including History of United States Naval Operations in Korea and nearly 250 photographs about the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard in the Korean War. …

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