Tag Archives: Korean war

KOREA, THE FORGOTTEN WAR

Sixty years ago this week a war began when troops from North Korea swept over their border with South Korea to begin the Korean War. I am one of those who served in the American armed forces during this war which, for most of my fellow countrymen, has been condemned to the events of no importance file. Most of those who served were born in the Depression, spent our initial ten years of life in poverty, our adolescence as children in World War II and then came the Cold War. We missed the Roaring Twenties and its wealth and we missed being part of the “Greatness Generation which won WWII. We are a generation which has always been ignored and we don’t even have a name. The slogan of Korean War soldiers was: “that’s the way the ball bounces, sometimes she comes up, sometimes she goes down.”

What did we do? We were the first generation of American soldiers who fought alongside Negroes since the Revolutionary War when George Washington refused to have segregated units. We ended the color barrier and gave birth to men like Colin Powell who would one day become head of the armed forces. We gave birth to children who were teenagers in the Sixties and participated in anti-war protests as we realized the Vietnam War was going no place other than leading to the death of American soldiers. We knew all too well the American people did not wish to fully commit to war just as the current generation of Americans allows 1.5 million young men and women protect 300,000,000.

Our war has disappeared from American consciousness. But, its lessons apply to the world of 2010. We were the soldiers who fought for “limited wars” and recognized the US could not use all of its weapons in order to conduct a modern war. The lesson of the Korean War was resolution lay in a negotiated peace, NOT VICTORY. This is the lesson for the Obama administration. The war in Afghanistan must be resolved at a bargaining table, and, frankly, America does not even have to be a party to that negotiation.

President Obama– learn the lesson of the Korean War

Korea–The Forgotten War Remains In Our Minds

Sixty five years ago as Japan surrendered chaos reigned in China, Manchuria and Korea. Russian soldiers swept through Manchuria as Japanese soldiers surrendered while in the South American troops landed to assume control of the country. Russian and Army commanders agreed to halt their armies at the 38th parallel in order to avoid confusion. This accidental decision resulted in formation of a Communist government in North Korea and a pro-American government in South Korea. Sixty years ago this month, North Korean soldiers invaded South Korea in what would be named, the Korean War. After three years of fighting, both sides agreed on a temporary truce, but this “temporary truce” has lasted over a half a century leaving the peninsula divided. We who served in the US armed forces during this war are the forgotten veterans of American history. Few films have been made, and few high school teachers give other than a passing mention to the first limited war in our history. It was the first war in which military leaders recognized the full power of America could not be employed in order to avoid plunging the world into a terrible world war. We held back in hope eventually the Soviet Union would end communism and China would moderate its brand of communism.

We forgotten soldiers never returned to celebration or to hatred, we simply were ignored by our contemporaries and future generations. However, it was during our watch the American armed forces were integrated, it was during our service massive war was avoided, and we helped create the nation of South Korea and ensured Japan could continue its economic and political revival.

I sometimes wish Vietnam soldiers had met our indifference. Of course, the slogan of American soldiers during the Korean War was symbolic: “that’s the way the ball bounces, sometimes she goes up, sometimes she goes down.”

“Goodbye Maria, I’m Off To KOHREA!”