By Tamas Mondovics

Brandon and surrounding area residents are invited to attend an event that many believe to be long overdue and are now proud to be a part of.

The Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 175, Hillsborough County Government, Veterans Museum and Parks Committee, Inc., as well as the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County, Inc., is hoping to see as many as possible to attend the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice and Dedication  Ceremony of the Korean War Memorial.

The event is schedule for Saturday, July 27, at 11:00 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr., Veterans Museum located at 3602 US Highway 301 N, just south of the Florida State Fairgrounds.

“The Korean War is remembered as ‘The Forgotten War’,” said HMCM (FMF) USN Ret. Walt Raysick.

As the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County President, and Field of Honor Chair, Raysick added that the Korean War was a war of aggression by the North.

It is said that 37,576 troops were killed and 103,236 wounded during the three-year-long war from 1950-1953.

Raysick also emphasized that the Korean War veterans are dying at about the same rate as WW2 veterans and said that it is time to recognize these veterans for what they are.

President of the Korean War Veterans Association and Master of Ceremonies, Ralph Hawkins, said that he is  looking forward to welcoming those who will take the time out and join the ceremony, which will feature the presentation of the National Colors by the Joint Services Color Guard from USCENTCOM, MacDill AFB.

“I am proud to be a small part of this historic event at our Veterans Memorial Park,” Hawkins said.

National Anthems of the United States of America and Republic of Korea (South Korea) will be sung by the Tampa Bay Korean Woman’s Chorus with Invocation by Capt. Young Chang Ha, Chaplain Corps, USN, Retired.

Also scheduled to present a signed Proclamation from the Board of County Commissioners is keynote speaker, Hillsborough County Commission Chair, Ken Hagan, while the Marine Corps League, Detachment 1226, of Riverview will conduct a rifle salute.

Adjacent to the Korean War Memorial is the recently relocated 1st LT Baldomero Lopez, USMC, Medal of Honor Memorial.  Lopez received the Medal of Honor Posthumously during the Inchon Invasion of the Korean War in 1950.

For further information, contact Walt Raysick at 653-4924.


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