Events more than half a century ago on the Korean Peninsula are merely the stuff of history books for most Americans. But for a few, including many residents of our area, they were a matter of life and death.
Sixty years ago this month, the Korean War ended in what many historians refer to as a stalemate. That, and the relative lack of thought many of their fellow Americans seemed to give to their sacrifices, grated on many U.S. veterans for decades.
Officially, it was not even a war. Washington referred to it as a "police action" or a "conflict," despite the fact the war took about 36,574 American lives, wounded another 103,284 and left 2,830 missing in action.
Ask anyone who served there if they were in a "real" war and most will surely tell you that it seemed so, in spite of what official actions the politicians back home did or did not take. There was ferocious fighting, suffering, and death. Sounds like a war, doesn't it?
During recent years, more Americans have come to understand what our men and women in uniform accomplished during the Korean War - along with the debt we owe them. In many ways, they won a major victory in a very real war. For that, they deserve the fervent, continuing thanks of a grateful nation.