Korea anniversary: a reminder of America's commitment to freedom
By Sen. Carlos Uresti
As America closes in on a decade of war in Afghanistan and maintains a dangerous presence in Iraq, Friday marks the 60th anniversary of another great military challenge for our nation.
On June 25, 1950, troops from the Democratic Republic of North Korea poured across the 38th Parallel, beginning a bloody conflict that eventually drew in the United States and China.
The Korean War ended on July 27, 1953, with a heavy toll of U.S. casualties – more than 37,000 killed and some 92,000 wounded.
While fought in a different place, in a different time against a different enemy, the Korean War compares to Afghanistan in their reflection of America's commitment to justice and freedom.
To this day, American military forces remain in South Korea, ever vigilant of the menacing threat from the north. And to this day we continue to pursue Osama bin Laden and his terrorist allies who attacked America on 9-11.
There is another common thread in these wars, a thread that also connects World War I, World II, Vietnam and all the other conflicts that summoned the courage and demonstrated the ideals of America – those who served and sacrificed.
Since that first great war, America has never failed to respond to the threats of despots and rogue nations. Members of each generation came forward, into the lines and trenches, in the air and on the sea, to defend the liberty of others.
Sixty years is a very long time, yet we still owe a debt to the military men and women who served in Korea. Their numbers may be diminishing, but not their pride or the respect of a grateful nation.
A few weeks ago on Memorial Day we remembered all who served, and I urge everyone to do so again tomorrow, with a special thought for those who made their sacrifice in Korea.
You could stop and pause at Veterans Memorial Plaza in downtown San Antonio or drive to Austin for a special event at the Texas Korean War Veterans Memorial at the state Capitol.
But whatever you do, don't let the day pass without reflecting for a moment on this important anniversary and how it relates to the freedom you have to do anything at all.