Korean War Monument Dedicated In Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/7/05-Tyler

Korean War Monument Dedicated In Tyler

It's often called "The Forgotten War." But Saturday dozens gathered to let Korean War veterans know their sacrifice will always be remembered.

A monument honoring the vets was unveiled and dedicated on the downtown square in Tyler.
It's been 55 years since the Korean War began. Though the years have gone by, the sacrifices of more than a million American men and women have not gone unnoticed.
Saturday brought a clear message, the war and their work will always be remembered.

"They said it was a police action," said Korean War Veteran Oris Gray, "but in actuality it was an all out war. And many, many men died, sacrificed their lives over there. They still call it a police action. But, this is letting us know we're not forgotten."

As the years pass, there are fewer Korean vets to witness these honors. Including the brain behind the Tyler memorial, Bob Burnett. Bob fought to have it created but never got to see it's dedication. He passed away in January. His family was there in his honor.

"It's kind of indescribable," said his son, Bob Burnett, Jr. "All the people that showed up. Dad would have loved to have been here. He worked so hard to get the thing going. I'm sure he's here somewhere. He's watching."

Veterans said Bob's vision stands now as lesson to all who will pass it.

"We went there with a purpose and our purpose was to help people in Korea enjoy the freedom that we enjoy in this country," said Jim Wilson with KWVA Chapter 286.

Former South Korean citizens on hand for the ceremony, said they could never say thank you enough.

"We cannot express, even if I had a thousand words, a thousand tongues, cannot express that freedom.," said Amber Paek.

When veterans were asked what they thought of the monument, the smiles said it all.
"I love it, no doubt about it," said Jim Wilson. "I love it."

For generations across East Texas, the monument will serve as a long standing reminder, that "freedom is not free."

Organizers said the memorial is intended to help veterans and their families heal from the physical and mental wounds of the war. They said the most important thing for Americans to remember is that South Korea is still a free country.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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