On June 25, 1950, the Korean War officially started. 75,000 soldiers crossed the 38th Parallel that divided North and South Korea. In terms of wars and conflicts, there was little media coverage in the US. In many ways this is a forgotten war/conflict in US History. I remember being in history class and going over each battle of WWII and then seamlessly skipping over the Korean War and jumping straight to the Vietnam War.
I didn’t do any maps or class projects about the Korean War. What I did get were teachers asking me to pose as a Japanese silhouette to represent the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Never mind that the Japanese invaded Korea and attempted to eliminate the Korean culture. At the time I didn’t realize just how messed up it was that a teacher would even consider asking to me do something like that. This just reinforced the fact that the Korean War was simply skimmed over during most history classes.
For obvious reasons I have close ties to the Korean War. One reason that not many people know is that my great uncle fought in the Korean War. Sadly he died of throat cancer before I had a chance to talk to him about it. I doubted that when he was over in Korea fighting that he ever imagined that he would have two adopted Korean boys in his family. I wonder how he viewed us, as far as if it gave him a sense of pride knowing he essentially fought for our freedom.
40,000 US soldiers were killed during the Korean War and over 100,000 were injured. This Memorial Day, I’d like to thank those men and women who served during the Korean War so that I could be free. If the North Koreans would have taken over the peninsula, I can assure you that I wouldn’t be here today. In history classes this maybe a forgotten war but it’s something I’ll never forget.