TOLEDO -- It's been 53 years since a cease-fire agreement stopped the fighting in Korea, and now Toledo is remembering veterans of that conflict with a memorial. Lucas County Commissioners, the Veterans Service Commission, the Arts Commission, and Koreans veterans themselves watched on Sunday as the new monument was dedicated at Civic Center Mall.
A statue at the top of the momument depicts a soldier's boots, and a rifle with a helmet over the top, which is a common symbol at military funerals. That bronze statue is sitting on a granite memorial engraved with an emblem for each division that served in the war.
Often called "The Forgotten War," fighting began over the Korean peninsula in July of 1950, and lasted until the cease-fire in July of 1953. About 54,000 American servicemen and women were killed in the conflict. About 30,000 were combat deaths, with the rest happening outside the war zone.
Veterans of that conflict said they were very pleased with Toledo's monument. "All I can say is, 'Wow!'" said Dan Drahein, a Korean War veteran. "I've seen it. It's a history book, a little bit there, that people can bring their grandchildren down here, and they can say, 'I was in that division, or I was in this unit here.'"
"The war that was called 'The Forgotten War will no longer be a forgotten war for our community with the dedication of this memorial monument for the Korean War veterans," said Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak.
The memorial was funded by the county and veterans organizations, and students at Anthony Wayne Junior High School.
Fewer service people were killed in Korean War than in the Vietnam War, but they happened over three years as opposed to 13 years in Vietnam. Advances in medical services such as the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital and the use of helicopters kept more wounded soldiers alive than in previous wars.