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Korean War veteran families engage online, fight to preserve legacy

Jan. 3—NEW YORK — More than 70 years ago, war broke out on the Korean peninsula. Twenty-two United Nations allies, including the United States, came to South Korea’s aid and fought to defend its people, freedom, and democracy.

Often referred to as the “forgotten war,” the Korean War stands as a testament to the ability of nations to stand alongside one another and fight for a common good. From the ashes of war, South Korea today is the 10th-largest economic power in the world and a model of democracy. This significant progress is the legacy of those who fought to defend the nation and should not be ignored. Now, Korean War veteran families, friends, and educators from around the world are fighting to preserve the legacy of those who served before it’s too late.

Designed by the Korean War Legacy Foundation and sponsored by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of South Korea, THE 22: Korean War International Legacy (https://the22koreanwar.org) is a global community honoring veterans from the 22 countries that took part in the often forgotten victory of the Korean War. Created to house veteran profiles, the website showcases submissions from around the world that include hundreds of photos and offers a unique and shared historical account of lived experiences throughout the war.

As the 70th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that took place on July 27, 1953, approaches, fewer and fewer Korean War veterans remain with us to tell their story. THE 22 offers a means of preserving their personal accounts of sacrifice for future generations. Jongwoo Han, president of Korean War Legacy Foundation, encourages communities to preserve the memories of local heroes.

“Please join people from across the world in honoring those who served in the Korean War, a chance to ensure that their legacy is not forgotten,” Han said in a news release.

The growing collection of profiles offers stories of enlistment, experiences on the front lines, triumphs, losses and more. The daughter of Joseph Farliano, United States Army, created a profile to honor her father and shared the reasons why he enlisted.

“My dad enlisted in the U.S. Army for two reasons: 1) to get three square meals a day and 2) to serve his country as a first-generation American,” Farliano said.

An international profile submitted from South Africa describes a pilot being shot down and taken POW by the Chinese, while one from Colombia details the subject being surrounded by a Chinese counterattack that resulted in only a few escaping capture or death.

The winter campaigns are remembered and described in several profiles, including Francis Wenthold’s, United States Army: “He spent November and December at the front line in frigid temperatures with only one pair of socks and without insulated boots. His feet turned black from frostbite,” the profile states.

With each passing year, fewer Korean War veterans remain to share their memories of the forgotten war that led to the success story South Korea is today. The fight to preserve their legacy is ongoing, and THE 22 urges families to share Korean War veteran stories from loved ones in its growing global community by registering and creating a free profile on https://the22koreanwar.org.

May we never forget those who served and fought to defend democracy around the world.

THE 22: Korean War International Legacy is a global community of Korean War veterans, their family members, scholars, historians, and educators intent on honoring veterans from the 22 countries that took part in the victory of the Korean War. As heirs of their legacy, the organization’s goal is to preserve and share Korean War veteran stories, educate the public about the war, and come together to recognize the importance of the Korean War in our contemporary history as well as the legacy of the Korean War. Families of veterans are invited to share educational resources about the war, explore the memories of the people who served, and create a free profile to honor a veteran who’s close to you.

The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, originally established in August 1961 as the Soldiers’ Affairs Agency, promotes national pride by providing adequate compensation to those who have made distinguished service to the nation and honoring their sacrifice.