Every year on July 27, Americans recognize the National Korean War. This day celebrates veterans of the Korean War, one of the most brutal and dangerous wars in United States history. The history and significance of July 27 is deep, and the national holiday gives Americans the chance to honor the service members who sacrificed so much during the Korean War.
A refresh on the Korean War
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. The conflict had been brewing for some time. When this military action took place, American troops were deployed by July on behalf of South Korea. America had to take a stand against communism and a harsh, three-year war followed.
Not only did combat itself kill many soldiers, but the hot, humid climate also took a toll on those who occupied the Korean peninsula. Civilian deaths as a result of bombings and other conflicts contributed massively to the total casualties, which was about 5 million, though the total number is still uncertain because North Korea did not release casualty numbers.
Almost 40,000 Americans died in the war, and more than 100,000 were wounded. At the time, there was not as much media coverage of what was happening in Korea, especially when compared to World War ll and the Vietnam war. This led to the Korean War being called "The Forgotten War." Veterans of the war were not treated with as much reverence, as it seemed that Americans wanted to forget this tragic period.
For several years, armistice agreement negotiations were underway, to no avail. That is, until July 27, 1953. On that day, the Korean People's Army (KPA), the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) and the UN Command signed the Korean Armistice Agreement, and America officially took its troops out of Korea, despite South Korean president Syngman Rhee refusing to sign the agreement. The agreement did not include a peace treaty, but did require North Korea, South Korea, China, and the United States to continue their peace talks.
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day is a time to remember the tragedies that occurred during the Korean War and to commemorate those who died in active duty, disappeared as prisoners of war, or were seriously injured in service.
In memoriam, every year the President of the United States issues a proclamation calling on the nation to observe National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day with appropriate ceremonies. American flags across the nation rest at half mast out of respect.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial located in Washington, D.C. was erected on July 27, 1995. If you ever visit the memorial, you will be able to read its inscription: "Our Nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met."
Take the time to thank a veteran, volunteer in your community, or simply reflect on the impact that the Korean War has on our American legacy.