Friday, June 25, 2010

Korea: The Forgotten War?

There is a lot of deserved hoopla over the sacrifices made by our veterans in WWII, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and OIF I & II. But somehow, WWII is often mentioned, with a skip over to Vietnam, and Korea appears to be but a footnote.

On this 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, lest we forget, (emphases mine)
  • 6.8 million served on active-duty during the Korean War
  • 1.8 million served during period of hostilities 36,940 died in theater during the war
  • 4,793 died while missing in action
  • 92,100 service members were wounded in theater, some several times
  • 8,176 are still listed as missing in action 7,140 were POWs of whom 4,418 returned
  • 131 Korean War participants received the Medal of Honor
The median age of Korean war vets in 2003 was 69, thus bringing the age now to 76.

In the series, M*A*S*H, the self-righteous surgeons (i.e., Alan Alda) of the 4077th often decried the 'futility' of the war, and the overarching message was that our men in the service were killed and wounded for no reason.

I beg to differ:

Without the sacrifices endured by our fighting men and women in Korea, the whole damned peninsula (and quite possibly beyond that) would have shared the fate of the northern half, and the darkness that currently reigns over North Korea would have relegated a similar fate to untold millions more.

The next time the White House feels the compulsion to apologize for American "arrogance," the Apologist in Chief may do well to take a gander at the above photo.