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Korean War Commemoration Display Opens at Pentagon

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2000 – Korean War veterans helped DoD open the Joint Services Korean War Commemoration Display July 26 near the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.

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Two Korean War vets discuss artifacts in the Joint Service Korean War Commemoration Display in the Pentagon. The display opened July 26. Photo by Jim Garamone.
  

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The exhibit honors the sacrifices U.S. Korean War veterans made during the battles from 1950 to 1953. Retired Army Gen. Robert W. Sennewald, a former commander of U.S. Forces, Korea, said one mission for the exhibit is to educate Americans on the Korean War and its place in defending freedom.

Hundreds of people who take the Pentagon tour each day would view the display, he noted. “It is an opportunity over the next three years to educate the citizens of the United States on the Korean War, its aspects and what it was all about,” Sennewald said. “This exhibit presents the background on the war. This is a wonderful place to have it for all the people who will view this as they tour the Pentagon.”

Gen. Paik Sun Yup, a guest at the opening, commanded the South Korean 1st Division when the North Koreans charged across the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950. “Four days later, Seoul fell,” he told the assembled veterans during the ceremony. “It was a time of deep despair.”

He recalled how he watched U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur as the commander of U.S. forces in the Far East observed operations in South Korea. Paik said he felt “we would win this war” from that moment on.

Paik, who presented the Republic of Korea’s Korean War Service Medal to six veterans, told the audience that South Korea today has the 10th largest economy in the world. “This prosperity came at the expense of you American veterans of the Korean War,” he said through an interpreter. “We respect and we show deep gratitude toward American people and American veterans.

“Today, the government of Korea and the people of Korea will always have the deepest appreciation for the American veterans of the Korean War.”

The exhibit consists of four large display cases that highlight the contributions of U.S. forces in Korea. One, for example, has models of Korean War-era Air Force aircraft along with photos and news stories of the fighting.

One Korean War vet pointed to a bazooka and said to a buddy, "I used one of those. It wouldn’t dent the armor on the Russian tanks. Had to wait until you could get a side shot before the thing was effective.”

Other Korean War vets went to the map of Korea and pointed to where they fought.

For more information on the Korean War Commemoration Committee click on http://korea50.army.mil/.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageRetired Air Force Maj. Gen. Nels Running, chairman of the DoD Korean War Commemoration Committee, escorts retired South Korean Gen. Paik Sun Yup through the Joint Services Korean War Commemoration Display at the Pentagon. Paik, former chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented service medals to six U.S. Korean War veterans during the July 26 ceremony opening the display. Photo by Jim Garamone.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageKorean War veterans and their families view the Air Force display at the Joint Service Korean War Commemoration exhibit at the Pentagon. The display opened July 26. Photo by Jim Garamone.   
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