Mr. Speaker, July 27th was National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, marking the day in 1953 when the armistice was signed at Panmunjom. The Korean War is often referred to as ‘‘the Forgotten War.’’
Our boys were largely ignored when they arrived home. There were no tickertape parades like at the end of World War II, and there were no violent protests against the war like with Vietnam.
The Administration did not even refer to the conflict as a war but rather as a police action. Well, Mr. Speaker, it was a war.
It was a war where Americans went and fought. In 1950, communist North Korea, backed by brutal dictatorships in China and the Soviet Union, crossed the 38th Parallel in an invasion of free South Korea. The communist forces pushed the South Koreans back, nearly forcing them off of the peninsula entirely.
With their heels touching the tide, South Korea called 911. America was not ready for another war.
The Pentagon was in the process of downsizing the military, both in budget and in manpower. But, as history shows, when the world dials 911, America answers.
So President Truman ordered troops to land at Pusan to aid the beleaguered South Korean forces. Over the course of the next three years, the United States fought a grueling conflict but successfully managed to drive the communist forces out of South Korea.
The fighting ceased when the armistice agreement was signed at Panmunjom, but to this day, no official peace document has been signed. Over 35,000 Americans died in this war, and more than 7,000 are still missing.
Thousands more came home with the scars of war or suffered in prisoner of war camps. Most in uniform served with great distinction and demonstrated that the American soldier is a rare breed.
One such individual was one of my late constituents, Sergeant Donald Foisie. Sergeant Foisie was pinned down on Hill 303 in August 1950, but he stood his ground. When the communist forces overran the hill, he and a friend hid in a rice paddy, using bamboo sticks to get air.
The two survived and rejoined American forces when the hill was retaken. Mr. Speaker, the sacrifice and bravery of American soldiers in the Korean War should be remembered and honored.
Just this week, Vice President PENCE accepted the remains of fallen Korean war soldiers, at last making their return home from North Korean soil. After 60 years, these noble ones who gave their lives will be forgotten no more.
This is a welcome step following the June 12th meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un, however, we must continue to strive towards our goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization by North Korea. These Korean War patriots deserve our utmost respect and admiration, because the worst casualty of war is to be forgotten.
And that is just the way it is.