Heritage/History Lifestyle

Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas Commemorates the Korean War June 25

On Tuesday, June 25, from 2–4 p.m., the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas will host a Korean War Remembrance Ceremony on the campus of Brevard College. The event will commemorate the 74th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

“It has been branded as the forgotten war,” says retired U.S. Navy Captain Elizabeth Taggart. “I am not sure why this is—because, geopolitically, if that region of the world fell to communism, we would live in a very different world today.” Her mother was 8 years old when she heard sirens warning of the invasion. “My grandmother and my mother’s generation suffered the various tragedies of the war and survived many hardships,” she says. “I have heard many stories from my mother and my uncles and others about what happened and what they experienced during the war and thereafter.”

Gregory Ehr suggested a ceremony to the museum’s board and received its approval last year shortly before, on January 1, he became a board member himself. “The inspiration for this proposal was my experience, more than 50 years ago, of serving as a US Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to Korea (late 1971 to mid-1974),” Ehr says. “My two and a half years in Korea were, for me, the most personally influential time of the eight years I lived and worked in Asia in various capacities.” This ceremony, he says, is “a natural, appropriate and needed expression of respect and gratitude to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who fought and died (nearly 37,000 American fatalities) to preserve the existence of the Republic of [South] Korea. The ceremony is doubly important because it also recognizes the courage and determination of the people of South Korea to live free of domination, sacrificing more than one million of their soldiers and civilians in the conflict.”

“The ceremony will feature a presentation by Tom Comshaw, U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, currently of Campobello, SC. Comshaw’s combat service kept indispensable F-86 jet fighters armed and flying over Korea. He will share his reflections on both serving in Korea and living with the Korean people during a harrowing time. Post-war, Comshaw has served as a past-president of the Korean War Veterans Association, Foothills Chapter #301 in Greenville, SC.”

In addition, two short performances by Sara Yoon of The Korea Center of Greenville (SC) and a performance of “Arirang,” a Korean folk song, by the Korea School Children’s Choir, will be part of the afternoon’s ceremony.

“The event is a commemoration of the communist-controlled North Koreans invading South Korea in 1950,” says Taggart. “This date (June 25), for Koreans, elicits bittersweet feelings. The positive is that South Korea was saved from communism and has developed into the robust and economically powerful country it is today.”

The Korean War Remembrance Ceremony will take place at the Ingram Auditorium in Dunham Hall located on 1 Brevard College Drive, Brevard. Admission is free, and complimentary Korean finger foods will be served. To learn more, visit TheVeteransMuseum.org or call 828-884-2141. Andrew Dallas-Marconi is a senior majoring in creative writing at UNC Asheville and a spring intern with The Laurel.

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