Friday, March 24, 2017
Post 651 Honors Long Island’s Korean War Vets
SAYVILLE, NY – A capacity crowd of friends, family and officials packed into the American Legion Smith/Wever Post 651 on March 21, 2017 as veterans hosted an Award and Remembrance Ceremony honoring Long Island heroes of the Korean War.
“The Forgotten War” raged between 1950 and 1953, and was the first major armed clash between the Free World and Communist forces as the so-called “Cold War” turned hot. Unfortunately, many Korean War veterans consider themselves forgotten, their place in history sandwiched between the sheer size of World War II and the fierce controversies of the Vietnam War.
However on Tuesday evening, 20 of those veterans, now in their eighties and nineties, were front and center as they were granted accolades by fellow Long Islanders. Amid applause and tears, Post 651’s WWII, Cold War, Vietnam, Desert Storm and the Global War on Terror veterans bestowed the American Legion’s Grateful Appreciation Medal and Honor Award to each of them.
As Post 651 Commander Steven Antonacci noted: “It is our duty to ensure that those heroes of ‘The Forgotten War’ are Forgotten No More.”
Also presented were New York State Certificates of Appreciation from Senator Thomas D. Croci and presentations by Town of Islip Elected Officials John C. Cochrane Jr., Steven J. Flotteron, and Alexis Weik. The ceremony was topped off with historic displays, refreshments and special guests from the Korean War Veterans Association of Greater New York.
“It should be remembered,” a Post 651 press release noted, “that during the Korean War over 100,000 US Servicemen and women were wounded while another 36,574 paid the ultimate sacrifice for another’s freedom. To this day, over 7,800 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are still missing. However, their victory was not in vain. Thus while communist North Korea remains dark, South Korea prospers as one of the world’s riches countries. Even in the face of the North’s continued saber rattling, The Republic of Korea is free.”