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Korean War vets remembered in Walnut Creek

May 31, 2010 5:53:36 PM PDT
This Memorial Day marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

That war broke out in the third week of June, 1950 and by the time a cease fire was declared, nearly 2 million Americans had fought in Korea. On Monday, their service and sacrifice were remembered.

Memorial Day is supposed to be about honoring veterans of all wars but sometimes, those who served in Korea feel like the day passes them by.

"The Korean War, it's called the forgotten war," Bill Harbin said.

In Walnut Creek this year, the special guests were three men who served in Korea. It is a conflict many Americans forget was as bloody for those who were there as the big war that preceded it.

"33,000 G.I.s were killed," Harbin says.

Marine Sergeant Bill Harbin enlisted in the marines in 1951 at age 17. By 18, he was fighting in Korea, a place he barely knew, for a cause he never questioned.

"We did what Truman told us to do," he says.

Steve Williams was there too as part of the Army's 24th Infantry Division, the first to land in Korea. As he describes it, Williams spent much of his service lugging heavy equipment up and down a steep hill.

"Even when the war stablized, we had to go up to that hill, I mean climb up it every day, which took about an hour," he says. "Me carrying this 40-pound radio."

Amid the memories, there is a reminder from the Korean War veterans, that Memorial Day is about honoring all those who served their country both yesterday and today.

"I hope everybody just pauses a moment and gives a thought to those young men and women in harm's way, and maybe say a little prayer for them, okay," Harbin says.


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