Korean War veterans to be honored July 27 in Mount Shasta
Twenty-two Siskiyou County Korean War veterans have received a high honor from the Republic of Korea and will be recognized during the 2nd Annual Siskiyou County Korean War Veterans Barbecue Sunday, July 27, beginning at 11 a.m. at Mount Shasta City Park.
County Korean War veterans being honored are:
Ernest E. Peddicord
Former (retired) Naval officer and Siskiyou County Supervisor Bill Overman is now deceased.
The 22 veterans are receiving the “Ambassador for Peace” Medal and Certificate from the Republic of Korea government. The medals and certificates are reserved for Korean War veterans and are awarded by the Minister, Patriots and Veterans Affairs and Chairman, Korean Veterans Association, Republic of Korea.
The medals and certificates are only awarded by the ROK government and were authorized by the ROK Consulate in San Francisco, according to Sheriff Jon Lopey.
Sheriff Lopey said a second list of Korean War veterans is being established for another round of awards later in the year.
The first 22 Siskiyou County recipients are from various parts of the county. They “represent the patriotism, fidelity, valor, honor, sacrifice, and outstanding service our men and women in uniform provided during this difficult time in world history in support of the South Korean people,” according to a release from Sheriff Lopey.
The certificate reads:
“It is a great honor and pleasure to express the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea and our people for the service you and your countrymen have performed in restoring and preserving our freedom and democracy. We cherish in our hearts the memory of your boundless sacrifices in helping us reestablish our Free Nation. In grateful recognition of your dedicated contributions, it is our privilege to proclaim you an “AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE” with every good wish of people of the Republic of Korea. Let each of us reaffirm our mutual respect and friendship that they may endure for generations to come.”
Each certificate is printed in English and Korean.
Sheriff Lopey states in the release: “Many historians believe the Korean War was instrumental in stopping the widespread expansion of communist forces throughout the region. It should also be mentioned that 16 nations sent fighting units to Korea in support of UN forces and five others provided military hospitals and ambulance services. Many World War II veterans who fought in Korea believe that the Korean War in many ways was as difficult if not more so than the fighting during World War II because of the harsh weather, rugged terrain, and vast numbers of North Korean and Chinese troops who fought against UN (includes US) forces, which were often greatly outnumbered by their communist adversaries. Fighting men had to fight in hot, humid weather over difficult terrain but at times the weather, especially in the mountains would drop to temperatures of 30 degrees below zero. During the famous battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Marine and Army units sustained 75% casualties.”
According to the release from Sheriff Lopey: the United States sustained 54,229 deaths (including 36,584 in-theater killed in action) and 103,248 wounded during the Korean War, which lasted from June 1950 to July 1953. South Korea sustained 1 million civilian and 217,000 military casualties during the war. North Korea sustained 600,000 civilian and 406,000 military casualties. China entered the war during the latter part of 1950 to support communist North Korean troops and sustained 600,000 military casualties during the war. There were 392,600 United Nations casualties during the war, “which was the first and greatest effort of the newly-formed UN to fight as a united force for peace to preserve the sovereignty and freedom of the South Korean people.” The United Kingdom sustained 5,017 casualties during the war and Turkey 3,349. Australia sustained 1,591 casualties, Canada 1,396, and France 1,135. Other countries losing significant numbers of personnel include Thailand, Greece, Holland, Columbia, Ethiopia, Philippines, Belgium, New Zealand, and South Korea. Japan also sustained casualties.
The 60th Anniversary of the end of the Korean War was recognized in 2013.
There are still 7,500 American service members unaccounted for (missing in action) as a result of the Korean War, according to Sheriff Lopey’s release. “Although an armistice was signed in July 1953, a peace treaty was never ratified and technically, the Korean War has never officially ended. American casualties are still sustained from time to time near the famous DMZ, the dividing line between the Communist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Republic of South Korea.”