Sunday, July 26, 2015

Korean War Remembrance

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

Monday, July 27, is National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. In 1998, July 27 was declared a national day of recognition by then President Bill Clinton to honor the more than 37,000 US service personnel who lost their lives during the Korean War.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950. By December of that year, negotiations were already underway for an armistice. It took until July 27, 1953 for the armistice to be signed. This was supposed to end all hostilities until a final peaceful settlement was achieved. To this day, that has not happened.

In our travels, Joann and I have been visiting more cemeteries. We are drawn to the older sections of these cemeteries, but sometimes we stumble on the graves of Korean War Veterans. When we find them, it is usually because of the setting, or the flags and markers, or flowers around the grave.

As we travel through small towns and cities, we find many patriotic displays like the one below on the roof of a Madison VFW Hall. We noticed this flag on a sunny day and returned at first light a few days later to capture it.

In 2013, on a trip to Ohio, we started out on a scenic route through some small towns of Illinois and passed by the Fairmount Cemetery. A tree had come down near the road, and someone had carved this eagle and American Flag from the stump of the tree.

The Korean War has long been known as “The Forgotten War”, but as Korean War Veterans are now in their 80’s, there seems to be more attention paid to remembering them. This year marks the 62nd anniversary of the armistice, and many ceremonies are planned around the country.

Many people remember the Korean War from the long-running show MASH, which had the most watched series finale of all time. The final episode ended with an aerial shot of the word goodbye spelled out with rocks on the helipad. It was a goodbye from B.J. to his friend and tent mate Hawkeye.

If you enjoy visiting cemeteries, be sure to check out the back of the gravestones, and you will often find a flat military marker attached to the headstone. It will list the branch of service, and the wars they fought in.

Thanks to all of our Korean War Veterans for their service.

Happy Shunpiking!


  1. Growing up, we had a close family friend who was a Korean War veteran. I appreciate this tribute, and the chance to remember him. He's been gone for awhile. Thanks.