U.S. Military Veterans from the Korean War Honored
El Monte -
On Thursday, July 25, a very special group of Americans and Koreans were celebrated before an audience of over 500 people in the Secret Garden Restaurant in Korea Town Los Angeles, CA. These wonderful men and women who were publicly honored were all veterans of the Korean War, so often labeled “The Forgotten War,” a bloody event in which there were 33,686 American Military Combatant combat deaths, 2,380 non-battle deaths, and 8,176 missing in action. The full death count on all sides, including UN forces, South Korean forces, North Korean forces, and Chinese Communist forces, along with civilian non-combatants totaled 1.2 million souls.
Special guests at this ceremony were Esthela Torres de Siegrist, President El Monte American Legion Auxiliary Unit 261 and El Monte American Legion Post 261 First Vice Commander, David Siegrist.
The honorees all received beautiful medals and were treated to a fabulous banquet of Korean dishes including myriad meats, salads, pastas, beverages.
A group of young Korean children serenaded the honorees with American and Korean patriotic songs. They included an impressive rendition of “Arirang,” a traditional Korean folk song that so many US Korean War Veterans learned and brought back with them.
Some of the US Military Veterans from the Korean War that were honored this day had to hold back tears as they reflected on their experiences in that war, and especially remembering the many comrades that died, were wounded, or were reported missing. Unfortunately, a prominent Korean War hero,who happens to be an El Monte native, was unable to attend this ceremony created to honor all those who served in the Korean War.
This gentleman is our very own City of El Monte Treasurer, Henry Velasco.
Thank you, Henry, and all the other Korean War Veterans for your service and sacrifices in the defense of liberty.