by Tony Chai | Chief Editor | Asiaindallas.com
Korean-Americans of North Texas hosted annual Korean War Veterans Appreciation Luncheon to remember and honor the sacrifices made by the Korean War veterans and the fallen soldiers.
The Consular Office of the Republic of Korea in Dallas, the Korean Society of Dallas, and the Korean National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC) Dallas Chapter hosted the event Wednesday, July 31st at the Coyote Ridge GC in Carrollton.
59 veterans and 44 family members of the Korean War Veterans Association’s Chapter 270, Chapter 215, Tyler Chapter, and Chosin Few Chapter were invited. Korean-American members of the local Dallas Korean War Veterans Association were also invited.
Head of Mission Sung Lae Hong of the Consular Office expressed deep appreciation to the veterans their families on behalf of the South Korean government.
“In extending Korea’s most profound gratitude to the assembled veterans who have dedicated brilliant youth for democracy and freedom of Korea, I appreciate your support for mutually reinforcing everlasting relationship between the Korea and the United States. Veterans, you are truly our heroes and we will always remember you.” said Sung Lae Hong.
Suk Chan Yu, president of the NUAC Dallas Chapter, expressed his gratitude by saying “the prosperity and freedom that Korea has achieved weren’t gained easily. The growth and peace that we enjoy now is built upon your sacrifices. If the prosperity of Korea is a miracle, you are the heroes of the miracle.”
▨ The Korean War & Korean Defense Veterans Memorial
After Korean officials’ greeting, Sherri Steward gave an emotional presentation about the Korean War & Korean Defense Veterans Memorial.
Steward is daughter of decorated combat veteran of World War II David Daniel Steward and also niece of Daniel Steward, a sixteen-year-old American soldier who was killed in action near Dae-Gu, Korea while fighting in the Korean War.
Steward is an associate member of the General Walton H. Walker Chapter 215 of the Korean War Veterans Association and also serves on the Korean War & Korean Defense Memorial Committee.
The General Walton H. Walker Chapter 215 of the Korean War Veterans Association is spearheading the effort for the memorial.
▲ Sherri Steward of the Korean War & Korean Defense Veterans Memorial Committee is giving a presentation on the memorial.
The memorial will be located in a prime location at the Veterans Park in Arlington,Texas. The city of Arlington generously donated the land for the project. The plan for the memorial has already been approved by the city.
Currently in the Veterans Park are the memorials for the World War II and the Vietnam War, but none exists for the Korean War.
The proposed Korean War memorial will have 5 granite columns, over 6 feet tall. Center column will show map of the Korean Peninsula. In front of each column is the international symbol of fallen soldier statue – the helmet, the rifle, and the boots. There will be four of these bronze statue symbols.
Also included in the memorial is the Kneeling Soldier. It will be a life-size bronze statue, in the center of the brick pavilion, kneeling in prayer in honor of his fallen comrades.
On one side of the granite column will be a kiosk in honor of Colonel James Stone. Chapter 215 president James Sharp served with him in the Korean War.
Colonel James Stone is a Medal of Honor recipient. His 48-men platoon was surrounded by over 800 Chinese soldiers during a battle, in which many of them did not survive. He was captured and spent 22 months in a brutal North Korean prison camp, according to Sherri Steward.
The committee hopes to have another kiosk on the other side of granite columns, which will be educational in nature.
There will be a perfect semi-circle bench in the memorial. This will provide plenty of seating for the family members of the fallen soldiers and the veterans to reflect on the sacrifices made.
The committee created various sponsorship levels in order to engage the entire Dallas Fort Worth community in the memorial building effort.
‘Honor a Hero’ is designed for individual participation. For example, a grandson may purchase a brick and have his grandfather’s name inscribed on it.
Consular Office of the Republic of Korea in Dallas is reviewing plans to financially aid the project. MLB Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation is reviewing aid and the Perot Foundation grant is also under review.
For more information about the memorial and/or financial contributions, contact Sherri Steward at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-367-8782.
The following are Sherri Steward’s final words during the presentation.
In our busy lives, with our jobs, children, and families, we tend to forget the sacrifices made in Korea.
Probably no one sacrificed more than the children of South Korea. Make no mistake about it, however, that the young men who fought and died in Korea sacrificed in a way that simply cannot be measured. For them, especially in the early days of the war, the land of the morning calm was the darkest place on earth.
On July 29th 1950, General Walton H. Walker, the commander of the U.S. 8th Army, so eloquently defined the desperation of the Korean War. He told his young men to “stand or die.” And for young man like my teenage uncle David, and Mr. Dawkins’ young uncle, they did just that. They stood, they fought and they died for a nation they never knew, and people they never knew. But they fought for the freedom of the Republic of Korea and we are so honored and proud of them.
They are the reason we wish to build this memorial. And let us never forget the sacrifices, not only of the American men who fought there, but Turkish men, the Canadians, the ROK soldiers. Let us remember all of them. Let us never ever forget their sacrifices.
And that is why we are so desperate to complete this memorial. Just in the past few weeks in Chapter 215, we lost several members of our living heroes. So, we will finish this memorial. We will complete it.
Again thank from the bottom of my heart and just let me say the Korean people, and I mean this, have changed my life. You absolutely changed my life because you’ve shown me what my father and my young uncle fought for is never forgotten. I’m eternally grateful to the people of Korea. Kam-Sa-Hap-Ni-Da(Thank you).
▲ Head of Mission Sung Lae Hong of The Consular Office of the Republic of Korea in Dallas.
▲ Suk Chan Yu, president of the Korean National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC) Dallas Chapter.