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Ellinwood vet receives Ambassador of Peace medal
new slt Korea Red Meier main pic
Red Meier, Ellinwood, shows the Ambassador for Peace award he and other veterans of the Korean War received this Veterans Day from the South Korean government. Meier and other members of the 224th Infantry Regiment attended a reunion and a huge Veterans Day observance in Phoenix, Ariz. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Why is it called 'The Forgotten War'?

The Korean War is often referred to as the "Forgotten War" because historically it has been overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. World War II ended a few years before the Korean War began. The Vietnam War began several years after the Korean War Armistice was signed and lasted approximately 10 years. Veterans of the Korean War have often referred to the Korean War as being a "Forgotten Victory."




Nearly 60 years after Lowell "Red" Meier served his country in the 224th Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in Korea, the Ellinwood man knows his fellow soldiers aren’t forgotten.

This month Meier attended the massive Veterans Day parade in Phoenix, Ariz., and received official thanks from the Koreans government at his regiment’s reunion. Delegates from South Korean presented the U.S. veterans with the Ambassador of Peace award and a certificate of appreciation from their government. The award includes a large medal, along with a miniature version, and a lapel pin. The soldiers also recieved a commemorative coin from the president of their organization.

The Korean War has been called The Forgotten War — a proxy war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the Peoples Republic of China and Soviet Union. "It was called ‘the police action,’" Meier said. "It wasn’t even a war."

The war lasted three years and 32 days, from 1950-53, and a 60-year commemoration is taking place. During the war, the United States saw 36,575 deaths in theater, and 103,284 were wounded, according to the Korean War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Committee.

In Phoenix, Ariz., the 15th annual VA Veterans Day Parade covers a 3.5 mile route and is watched by as many as 200,000 spectators that line the streets, making it one of the largest parades in the nation. Meier’s group of 48 veterans and their spouses, riding in two large buses, was the seventh entry out of more than 100, and as he looked out on that crowd, watching young children stand and salute, he knew the gratitude of his country as never before.

"I think that’s the first time in 60 years I felt like we were appreciated," he said.

After the parade they visited Arizona’s Korean War Veterans Memorial to lay a wreath.

Meier served for just under a year, toward the end of the war. For years, it seemed to him that his fellow Americans weren’t aware of what he and his fellow soldiers had done. After his moving experience at the Veterans Day parade, Meier also felt grateful, and wrote some of this thoughts:

"Yes, they thanked us. We were the fortunate; we came back home. How many weren’t that fortunate – from all wars, conflicts on police actions? Maybe, just maybe, this next Memorial Day or Veterans Day we could take 30 minutes or maybe one hour to attend a veterans memorial service, rather than sleeping in, going to the lake, stock car race, horse show or whatever. Just maybe."

The Ambassador of Peace proclamation states, "We cherish in our hearts the memory of your boundless sacrifices in helping us establish our Free Nation."