Bay Area Korean veteran dedicates himself to making sure 'The Forgotten War' is never forgotten

"We are fading away pretty fast as Korean veterans, but we're going to leave a mark about not being forgotten."

ByChris Bollini via KGO logo
Saturday, November 12, 2022
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Korean War veteran Paul Lewis was honored in Petaluma's America Legion Veterans Day parade for his commitment to helping fellow veterans.

PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Petaluma's American Legion Veterans Day parade is one of the largest In the Bay Area.

"I think it's important to have a parade to honor those who served," said parade organizer Joe Noriel. "This year, we are honoring Korean War veterans."

Veteran Paul Lewis was selected as Grand Marshal for his dedication to helping fellow veterans.

Image of the Korean War Memorial in Petaluma, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.
Image of the Korean War Memorial in Petaluma, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.
Chris Bollini

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"Paul Lewis is the ideal Grand Marshal," explains Noriel, adding, "he's served in some of the most brutal situations in Korea and came back home to become a civic leader."

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"When I came back on Memorial Day, I would go walk in the cemetery...I found three Petaluma High School boys that I knew really well that didn't come home and said, 'they are not going to be forgotten.' That's where I stepped in," Lewis reveals.

Lewis's dedication to commemorating his high school friends' sacrifice resulted in a Korean War memorial being erected it the center of town.

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"And like Douglas MacArthur said 'soldiers just fade away," Lewis declares, "Well, we are fading away pretty fast as Korean veterans, but we're going to leave a mark about not being forgotten."

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