A U.S. Marine Corps color guard joined Korean War veterans, family members of those who died in the war, local leaders and consuls from the Republics of Korea Saturday to mark the anniversary of the war’s end.
Gathered under large white tents on the grounds of the former Bucks County Courthouse, the attendees commemorated the 70th anniversary of the cease-fire and armistice that brought three years of vicious battle to its conclusion.
The Korean War claimed the lives of more than 38,000 Americans and wounded 102,000, many of whom later died. Today nearly 8,000 are still listed as missing in action.
“This was some of the most perilous fighting in American history,” Jerry Jonas, a Korean War veteran and well-known newspaper columnist, told the audience. Despite the seven decades that have passed since the then 20-year-old Marine was fighting in Korea, Jonas said, “I can close my eyes and think of it and it seems like just days ago.”
“The United States was not at war with anyone,” noted Jonas. The U.S. was there to prevent the communists from overtaking South Korea.
During the ceremony, where Korean-American children, wearing brightly colored robes and dresses, sang several Korean folk songs.
The Bucks County Korean War Memorial was dedicated in June, 2000. The first of its kind in eastern Pennsylvania, the memorial is inscribed with the names of 38 local men who died fighting communist aggression. Red roses were placed at the memorial for each fallen soldier, as a rifle salute and the playing of “Taps” honored their sacrifice.