My dad and my father-in-law were veterans of the Korean War. They were among the 5.8 million Americans who served in the military during the conflict. The U.S. and South Korea were joined by 15 other countries that provided troops and five countries that provided medical support.
From 1950 to 1953, more than 36,000 Americans died in the Korean War. During the same time period, the total U.S. military death toll (worldwide) was more than 54,000, and the number of war dead for United Nations countries was more than 628,000.
My son and I went to the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this year. Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force members are depicted in 19 stainless steel statues, all of the troops wearing ponchos over their backpacks and weapons. The statues stand amid juniper bushes and strips of polished granite which represent rice paddies in the Korean war zone.
The dedication stone at the Korean War Memorial bears this inscription:
Our nation honors her sons and daughters
who answered the call to defend a country
they never knew and a people they never met