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    Korean War Armistice 68th Anniversary commemorated at R.I. National Cemetery

    Korean War Armistice 68th Anniversary commemorated at R.I. National Cemetery

    Photo By Mark Kane | Members of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 299 fire a seven-rifle salute toward the...... read more read more



    Story by Mark Kane 

    U.S. Army Garrison Rock Island Arsenal

    ROCK ISLAND NATIONAL CEMETERY, Illinois (July 27, 2021) – The Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 168 gathered for an annual ceremony commemorating the Korean War Armistice 68th Anniversary and National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day at the Rock Island National Cemetery on July 27.

    Ron Sears, Korean War veteran and president of Chapter 168, said that it’s important to remember this ‘forgotten war.’

    “Because they are our comrades in arms, and we want to honor those people, and for the country of South Korea,” said Sears. “We'd love to have more people come out and see what we are doing and really pay attention to where we are, because we are members the Korean War, we are the forgotten war. You always hear about World War I, World War II; they jumped right into Vietnam, so therefore we are the forgotten the war, which is the United States is the longest war that they've ever fought, because the war is still going on – all they did is sign an armistice, they didn't sign a peace treaty; took a long time to sign that as well. Yes it did, negotiated for about two and a half years.”

    Keynote speaker Col. Todd J. Allison, garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison Rock Island Arsenal, spoke to the signing of the armistice as well and his personal experience serving in the Pacific Theater.

    “The armistice was signed ending three long, and brutal years of conflict, the signing of the armistice ended three years of violent combat, and millions of casualties and made possible the exchange of prisoners, but the stark reality is that while the signing of the armistice marked the end of conflict, it did not end the war, at least not like it had previous wars,” said Allison. “Instead the armistice ushered in over seven decades of the development of a strong alliance between two nations, the United States of America, and the Republic of Korea to further prevent the outbreak of conflict of war, and to seek reunification of the peninsula. Over the past seven decades this alliance has allowed the Republic of Korea to grow and thrive and become a vibrant country founded on an enduring relationship between our two nations. I have personally witnessed this with my own eyes, having served almost seven years in the Pacific Theater, and having traveled and exercised, alongside our Republic of Korea allies over two plus decades, what I have observed is our two nations commitment to protecting peace on the Korean peninsula is stronger than ever, and is adored and grown over the ensuing decades, many of my fellow service members and I have served alongside and formed relationships and built trust with our Republic of Korea allies.”

    The Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, resulted in more than 36,000 U.S. casualties, 85 of whom were from the Quad Cities area, according to the National Archives. Allison spoke specifically about retired Sgt. Maj. John C. Hernstrom from the United States Marine Corps, who began his service several months prior to the end of World War II and is interred at the Rock Island National Cemetery.

    “Many of you may know John he was deployed to fight in 1950 and fought in the brutal 17 day Battle of Chosin Reservoir, earning a Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters, and three Bronze Star medals for valor,” said Allison. “I'm told Sergeant Major didn't talk much about his experience in Korea as he was very humble, but I can only imagine his bravery, and the bravery of the men and women, those three years after retiring from the Marine Corps. John came back to the Quad Cities and was very involved in the local Marine Corps League Chapter, putting in countless hours of volunteer time. John passed away in May 2013 and was laid to rest with his beloved wife, Bonnie here in Section N. There's a monument of rock on Cemetery Memorial Walkway, honoring those who served in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the chosen few.”

    The Vietnam Veterans Chapter 299 fired a seven-rifle salute, and taps was performed at the event.



    Date Taken: 07.27.2021
    Date Posted: 07.28.2021 16:11
    Story ID: 401936
    Location: ROCK ISLAND, IL, US 

    Web Views: 67
    Downloads: 0