Veterans attend Korean War commemoration in SF's Presidio

July 27, 2013 5:32:10 PM PDT
Saturday marked the 60th anniversary of when the United Nations and North Korea signed an armistice, suspending the Korean War.

A ceremony was held Saturday as ground was broken for a future Korean War memorial at the Presidio in San Francisco. The event was attended by several veterans of the war. One told us he's proud of what his service accomplished.

"What the UN forces did, and primarily the Americans, saved a democracy that is just so thriving today," Korean War veteran John Stevens said. "And if we could have their subway system here in San Francisco, it'd be great."

Among the speakers in attendance was Korean War veteran and former U.S. Congressman Pete McCloskey, R-California, who served as a Marine rifle platoon leader in Korea. He was awarded the Navy Cross and Silver Star for valor and two Purple Hearts for wounds he received during the war. McCloskey says he's troubled that Korea remains divided 60 years later.

"But it's one country, it isn't two people, it's one people. And they were divided by mistake, probably the dumbest mistake that was made was to draw the 38th parallel, invite the Russians to come down to the north half, the U.S. occupy the south half. But they're one people, they're not two people," McCloskey said.

The Korean War was an undeclared fight that lasted from 1950 through 1953. 33,000 American soldiers died and 100,000 were wounded. It is often called 'the forgotten war.'

The memorial is expected to be completed in 2015. But officials say donations are still needed.


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