Thirty-seven thousand+ men and women lost their lives and more that 103K were wounded while defending South Korea from aggressive Communist North Korean forces when they launched an all-out war against South Korea on June 25, 1950. Within a week they were on the out-skirts of Seoul, the capitol of South Korea with numerous divisions of Armored, Artillery, and Infantry units. They were confident that victory was at hand. But the shooting war lasted thirty-seven months until July 1953 when a truce was signed. Technically the war is still going on as a peace treaty has never been signed. Men are still losing their lives in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of Korea.
The United Nations passed a resolution condemning the aggression. Many nations eventually sent troops to repel the attacks, but America would be the nation that would lead the United Nations Forces in halting the advance of the North Korean Armies into South Korea. Then as now, North Korea was a very poor country, thus they were supported and supplied by the Russian & Chinese Communist regimes. When America and their Allies pushed the North Korean Forces to their border with Red China, the war was essentially over. General Douglas MacCarthur told the troops that he would have them home by Christmas.
However, Red China, in addition to providing North Korea with arms and supplies, sent ground troops into North Korea. It has been estimated to be at least 1M men. Russia also provided arms and materials to the North Korean and Chinese forces. Their aim, of course, was at this point, to conquer South Korea. Their larger goal was to spread communism through-out Asia and then into the western hemisphere, eventually having a communist dominated world.
But America and our Allies were not going to let that happen. America committed massive amounts of men and materials to halt the advance of communism in Asia, and to keep South Korea free. But the costs was heavy. Thirty-seven thousand Killed-in-Action (KIA’s). Thousands taken prisoner. POW’s suffered unimaginable atrocities, starvation, freezing to death, beatings, and other cruelties best left undefined. We still have nearly 8K KIA’s/MIA’s over there. The North Korean and Chinese Regimes will not let us in to find them so we can bring them home.
America is finally poised to pay tribute to these 37K+ heroes. Congress enacted legislation which was signed by President Obama in October 2016 that would allow the construction of a “WALL OF REMEMBRANCE (WOR)” at the site of the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D. C. that will have the names of all the Americans KIA’s/POW’s engraved in it. However, no federal funds can be used in the construction of the WOR.
The estimate to build the WOR is $26M. The people of South Korea with a population of just over 50M people have committed significant funds to the project. It is estimated that we, America must raise approximately $13M. South Korea already has built a WOR in Seoul for American KIA’s/POW’s. Surely we, with a 315M population and 350K Korean War Veterans can raise $13M.
When you do the math, each name will cost approximately $350.00. SC had 551 KIA’s and an and 15 POW’s. The SC goal is $200K. I, along with some others, are launching a statewide fundraising campaign to raise the $200K, a daunting task for sure, but I’m optimistic that we can do it. We have identified the numbers for each county and city. We are trying to reach out to community leaders in all forty-six (46) counties and requesting them to help raise the funds for their citizens that sacrificed their lives in that war. We have received some positive responses and have raised $112k thus far.
The KOREAN WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION (KWVA) Foothills Chapter #301 here in Greenville, SC is taking on the task of raising the funds for Greenville’s KIA’s/POW’s, which is about fifty-five (55). We have set a goal of $20K. We would like to raise more as some counties may not be able to raise their share. Spartanburg had thirty-six (38), Pickens (19), Anderson (20), Charleston (36) Cherokee (5) Union (11), Laurens (11), Oconee (12) and Greenwood (3). This data will be provided to all SC counties and cities.
I have never been involved in a more deserving project. It is way past time that we honored these heroes and their families in this way. All donations are tax deductible. We are requesting those that can afford it to “sponsor” one (1) name $350.00, but contributions of any amount will be appreciated. We’re asking all to please consider contributing to this most worthy project. ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL. LET’S DO OUR PART AND GIVE SOME. Thank you in advance for your generosity. Please make checks payable to; KWVA Foothills Chapter #301. In the “For” area of your check, please write “WALL OF REMEMBRANCE.” Mail them to KWVA FOOTHILLS CHAPTER #301, FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE, P. O. BOX 6903, GREENVILLE, SC 29606-6903. Ninety-nine percent of the proceeds will go to the WOR. A few KWVA Foothills Chapter members, in addition to contributing to the WOR, will absorb most of the fundraising cost involved.