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Korean War veterans recognized with medals for service

shirleyNANNEY

Editor

Sixteen Carroll Countians who fought in the Korean War were recognized with Korean Ambassador for Peace medals during a ceremony Aug. 10 in the Conference Room of the Office Complex.

Carroll County Veterans Service Officer Renee Myers conducted the ceremony and gave a history of the war and passed out the medals with the assistance of Johnnie Ruth Baucum and County Mayor Joseph Butler.

Only one of the actual veterans was present. McKenzian Enoch Creasy, who served in the Air Force, was accompanied by his son, Mike Creasy.

Shannon Godwin, daughter of veteran PFC Wayne Burton, who served in the Army, was present representing her father. He has only recently died. 

Dorothy Horton, wife of PFC Clifford Horton who served in the Army, was present along with her daughter, Danita Horton Land.

Others who were recognized and honored with a medal included: Lester Scott, Donald Wayne Batton, Clarence Norman, James Albert Harris, Robert M. Haley, Willard C. Ellis, James Edward Hodge, Robert Irby Barnett, Billy Joe Hatch, Raymond Wendell McDade, Wayne Kirk, Ethelbert Sherman Perry, Jr., and Bobby Lee Cook.

Wilma Pearson said the opening and closing prayer at the ceremony. She is the chaplin for Huntingdon No. 47 American Legion and also for the Tennessee American Legion .

“We gather here today to honor the Carroll County Veterans who served during this time,”

 said Myers. “Seventy eight Korean War veterans returned or established residency in Carroll County and today we are honored to recognize our veterans who are no longer with us or the families of these veterans.” 

The Korean Ambassador for Peace medal is a special honor for Korean War veterans, both men and women who fought on the front lines and in support positions.

It is awarded by the South Korean government and is a symbol of deep appreciation from those who remember the efforts of the U.S. during the war.

A proclamation was also issued along with the medals which read: “It is a great honor and pleasure to express the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea and our people for the service you and your countrymen have performed in restoring and preserving our freedom an democracy.

We cherish in our hearts the memory of your boundless sacrifices in helping us reestablish our Free Nation.

“In grateful recognition of your dedicated contributions, it is our privilege to proclaim you an “Ambassador for Peace” with every good wish of people of the Republic of Korea.

Let each of us reaffirm our mutual respect and friendship that they may endure for generations to come.”

Myers said the Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when the north Korean military, known as the Korean People’s Army crossed the border and drove into South Korea.

North Korea was supported by China and the Soviet Union while South Korea was supported by the Untied Nations.

On June 27 President Harry Truman ordered U.S. air and sea forces to help South Korea.

Twenty-one countries of the United Nations contributed to the UN forces with the United States providing around 90 percent of the military personnel.

The fighting ended on July 27, 1953 when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners.

However, no peace treaty was ever signed, and the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict.

Approximately three million people died in the Korean War. The US suffered 36,516 deaths along with 17,730 wounded during the Korean War.

Forty-two years after the Armistice, on July 27, 1995, the National Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated and opened in Washington DC.

At the Memorial’s center are 19 statues of a unit on patrol, collectively known as “The Column,” there is a mural wall reflecting images representative of those who fought, a United Nations wall remembering allies who fought alongside the U.S. and South Korea, as well as the Pool of Remembrance.

Two weeks ago, on the 69th anniversary of the Armistice, the memorial received a 380-foot memorial wall listing the names of the Americans and Korean Augmentation to the United States Army forces (KATUSAs) who were killed during the war.

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