UNION COUNTY — One part of the celebration of Veterans Day in Union County is the essay contests held at the county’s middle schools and this year was no different.
Each of the county’s public middle schools — Jonesville, Lockhart, and Sims — took part with students submitting essays on the Korean War. The essays focused on the Korean War because, first, this year is the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting and, second, local veterans of that war received special honors at this year’s Veterans Day Ceremony.
The winners of the essay contests marched in the Veterans Day Parade and were recognized at the ceremony. Here are the essays that won them that recognition.
“We Remember:” Honoring Those Who Served in the Korea War
by Alyssa Bryant
The Korean War started when North Korea attacked South Korean. This war would last for about nine months. We should honor the people who served in the Korean War.
On June 27, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. Over the war, over two million people died. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for the people who fought in the war. They were away from their families for over nine months. The weather was hard on them. It was snowy and cold. They would climb over hills, which were actually mountains. Most men who fought in the war were actually teenagers. The teenager had to grow up quickly or die. Since they sacrificed so much, they deserve to be honored. To honor them, we could lay flowers on the graves of the people who died. We could also throw a party or celebration once a year on Veteran’s Day. We honor the veterans because they left their families and friends to fight in a war that they did not have to fight in. Some people, in order to fight in the Korean War, would forge signatures to sign the papers that said that they were allowed to fight in the Korean War. Some people were as young as sixteen years old. Some interesting facts about the Korean War are that it was the first armed conflict of the Cold War and that North Korea invaded South Korea with defensive assurance from the Soviet Union.
In conclusion, we honor veterans because of all they sacrificed. So, what are you going to do to honor the veterans who fought in the Korean War?
The Korean War
by Kayla Means
Sunday, June 25, 1950 North Korea crossed the 38th parallel invading South Korea. The U.S. became involved on June 30th because President Harry Truman wanted to stop the spread of communism and show other democratic nations we would help South Korea. It wasn’t officially declared a war by the U.S. government. Therefore, it is often merely called the Korean conflict of a police action.
When U.S. soldiers first arrived in South Korea, it was burning to ashes, and they noticed that none of the buildings had roofs. The soldiers endured harsh winters and sweltering summers. All of the seasons were very well defined. It was so dusty and windy sometimes that the only way to get fluids was through drinking alcohol. The U.S. soldiers also noticed how kind and hard working the South Koreans were. The industrious nature of the South Koreans filled the U.S. soldiers with pride in their role in the war. Some soldiers experienced POW camps where captives were severely wounded to the point where they could barely survive. On top of all this, the U.S. soldiers experienced 33,686 of their fellow comrades die. One point two million people died in the war, which is the same amount of deaths in the Vietnam War.
When the U.S. troops came back to the U.S. from an excruciating war, they were treated as if nothing every happened. These men and women risked their lives for another country’s freedom. I believe that this is a prime example of what true courage is. Being a veteran is something to be proud of, and I don’t these soldiers have been properly commended for their work. Although I know that you can never thank these outstanding veterans enough, I thank them for everything they have done for this country. As they say, you need to give a person their flowers while they are still living.
The Forgotten War
by Laura Parris
The Korean War is truly a forgotten war. No one in this generation knows what happened or why we talk so little of it. The war started on June 25, 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. It ended on July 27, 1953 when an armistice was signed. This wasn’t just a civil war in Korea, but between the U.S., Soviet Union and China. The U.S. took sides with democratic South Korea while the Soviet Union and China sided with community North Korea. Why did the U.S. get involved anyway? President Truman didn’t want communism to spread and believed it was the U.S.’s duty to protect this weaker nation. When North Korea sent 90,000 men to South Korea, everyone was taken off guard. Within the next 5 days, they had taken 90% of South Korea. Truman sent soldiers to fight off the North Koreans for the next three years. Though the war was short, its effects are forever engraved in the hearts of every soldier.
The U.S. sent 20,000 soldiers to aid South Korea. Our men battled extreme weather with temperatures being 35 degrees below 0. According to some, snow piles up 20 feet high and the wind blew so constantly that icicles formed horizontally. Some recall that it got so cold their hands would freeze to their guns and their lips would be frozen shut. Along with the harsh winters, the summers were humid and dry. Beside the unforgiving weather, they had to face off with the enemy. At night, North Koreans shot at American camps and terrified them. The battles weren’t thrilling or exciting. There were landmines everywhere, bullets coming from every direction, bombs flying and the moans and screams of the wounded and dying. It was a bleak lifestyles. However, mail from home kept high hopes that the war would soon end. When they came home, they were never the same. The sounds of gunfire and bombs, the images of the dead and dying soldiers, and the unmistakable smell of death remains locked in their hearts forever.
The troops came home to a thankless nation. No one honored them, they didn’t see that it was a war worth fighting. We stopped communism and helped a country. Isn’t that better than being attacked on U.S. soil? It became a forgotten war. Although 1.2 million men women and children died in total, we forgot. What was won? What was lost? We should honor our Korean veterans for their service for coming to aid a country. Wouldn’t America want our friends to come to our aid if we were attacked?
The Korean War
by Katie Blackmon
This is to all the veterans who fought in the Korean War, also known as the “Forgotten War.” First, let me begin by saying “thank you.” I surely can’t imagine how you did it. I know that I could not have gotten out there and froze! I am not an expert of know about the Korean War, but cannot imagine how you did it!
The Korean War was a war in the Republic of Korea. This war began June 25th, 1950 and lasted until July 27th, 1953. North Korea established a communist government, unlike South Korea, which was a republic. After North and South Korea negotiated, problems still arose.
Because of the Korean War 33,741 United States soldiers died. The men lacked proper winter clothing and food. Many men had guaranteed President Truman that the Chinese would not enter the war. Then the Chinese surprisingly attacked troops and won. It am sure that it felt like a time of sadness for the United States. The Chinese became excellent fighters from previous wars. Through all the war and conflict, the Chinese made clear that they refused to give up no matter what the United States threw at them.
Soon, the Chinese were forced to hide in caves when the United States bombed at night. Eventually, there was no more food for the Chinese and all they had to use was dirty water. It must have been hard for them, too. Soon, I suppose everyone was tired of fighting. Eventually they drew a truce.
No one ever won the Korean War. Some people ask, “Was it worth it?” I cannot answer that question, but I am sure some of the veterans can. Once again, thank you for serving our country.
by Tayla Smith
Today when people talk about the “Forgotten” War, I sometimes wonder why it is forgotten. A lot of people lost their lives during this event. As people say the “forgotten war,” it really makes me want to thank them for what they have done.
On June 25, 1950, five years after World War II, North and South Korean became separated. North Korea came in to invade South Korea. North Korea sent 100,000 well-trained me into South Korea. North Korea was a communist country, and South Korea was a democracy. After the United States came in to help South Korea, they held North Korea at the 38th Parallel Line. Meanwhile, after the United States pulled out, the was continued. After a long time of fighting and hatred took place, the South Korean flag was raised. Everyone just thought the fighting was over.
This war should not be thought of as just the “forgotten war.” It possibly kept our country as a democracy and not just a communist country. We should appreciate this war, and honor it in remembrance of those who lost their lives.
by Dalton Vinson
The Korean War was fought over Communism. North Korea wanted anti-Communist South Korea to become Communist. South Korea had a weaker military than North Korea and began losing the war. The United Nations began to discuss possible solutions to contain Communism. They decided the United States should help defend the innocent South Korean country, so the United States did so. We sent a group of military personnel that was one-tenth of what was sent to World War II into South Korea. These brave men pushed North Korea back to the 38th Parallel Line, and then things took a turn for the worst. The Communists started to reverse the retreat and started gaining massive ground on the United States. The United States was forced to retreat into the Korean low country. The United States was losing until General Douglas MacArthur used a sneaky strategy. He sent daring soldiers deep behind enemy lines toward the border of North and South Korea. MacArthur met surprisingly minimal resistance and demolished them from then on out. He pushed relentlessly till the North Koreans were backed up into a wall. MacArthur was told to halt his crew; he refused and began infiltrate the remaining North Korean resistance until President Harry S. Truman fired MacArthur. Ridgeway relieved him and began peace talks. This wasn’t easy and it didn’t stop until two years later. More than 12,000 lives were lost and more became casualties. Troops who fought during this war were brave and strong. They deserve the best things in regular life. These warriors are what I like to call a true hero and helping hand.
Korean War Veterans
by Anna Caroline Alexander
I went into a black hole. My face fell onto the cold, hard ground. I looked up and saw a man shooting bullets rapidly. I looked around me. I saw more men shooting.
I realized I had flashed back to the Korean War but no one could see me.
I laid there remembering every fact I knew. How China and Germany fought on North Korea’s side. 3 years, 1 month and 3 days of blood, sweat and tears. How there never was a peace treaty, it just sort of stopped. It boomed in my head, 50,000 people died, 7,900 still missing. Men and women from 16 countries went to fight. They were so brave. People died so I could live the way I want to.
How could some people take that for granted? The U.S. spent 67 billion dollars and some people forget because they say it is just another war.
Veterans are courageous, brave and strong. Thank you for fighting for us, for me. They served, some died. Freedom is not free.
A Time to Remember
by Kristin Kicidis
Men and women all over the country spend every day protecting our citizens. They leave their own family to protect other families. In return, many Americans often take them for granted. The put their lives on the line for us and that takes a great amount of bravery and courage.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War which is also know as “The Forgotten War” by some people. I cannot imagine why any war would be less remembered or considered less important than any of the others. Every soldier that ever went to war to fight for our country sacrificed time away from their families and risked their lives. How could any war be considered less than significant than another?
A few soldiers who fought in the Korean War were First Class Robert Simanek, Corporal Hiroshi Miyamura, and Corporal Tibor Rubin. First Class Robert Simanek became a hero when he threw himself on a grenade. Corporal Hiroshi Miyamura covered his unit’s retreat during an enemy attack and became a prisoner of war. Corporal Tibor Rubin was also a prisoner of war. All these heroic deeds led these men to become well-known heroes and get Medals of Honor. Each of these men performed something that most of us would have the courage to do. They were also able to save millions of lives while doing these selfless acts. I’m sure that most Americans would agree that these soldiers definitely deserve more than just a medal. These soldiers are more than just heroes; they are an inspiration to my heart.
The Korean War
by Ashton Cody
Veteran’s Day is a day where we show respect to those who have fought in the military. There are many wars where soldiers have sacrificed their lives for us. One of those wars is the Korean War.
The Korean War was fought from 1950-1953. Also, the war was fought between North Korea and South Korea. While North Korea was Allies with China, South Korea was Allies with the United States. There were many reasons why this war was fought. One reason was that South Korea was anti-communist and North Korea was communist.
During this time, North Korea was ruled by a communist government where they own everything. While South Korea was a right-wing government, or anti-communist. Then, this led into a conflict, which turned into the war.
The war began when the North crossed over the 38th parallel into South Korea. They went through many trials and victories while fighting the war, but it never got them anywhere. After three years had went by, the war was over not either side had won!
There were many deaths and casualties of the war. During the war, just the U.S. had approximately 54,260 deaths and 92,134 wounded. Many people sacrificed their lives just for the protection of us. We could never repay for the amount of lives that died for us, so we should give thanks for the lives we so rightfully have today!
Veteran’s Day this year please take the time to think about and show respect to those Korean veterans or any military veteran. They took the time and their lives for you, so you should be able to do the same. what if that was your loved one who died in the Korean War?