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The Koreans have arrived! To give thanks and celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the start of the Korean War a group came over from Korea to our USA and helped to make a great thank you dinner. 240 Korean War Vets and spouses and another 250/300 others were in attendence. Murdoch Ford of the Lopez Chapter in Tampa engineered the affair with Eddie Ko helping. They planned and worked out the many details of the day. Frequent changes in the order Etc. had to be made promptly and conclusions made in haste to adhere to a strict timetable. They invited all chapters of the KWVA with 13 in attendance. They took care of the security, seating, medals Etc. The Koreans with an interpreter arrived at 10:30 A.M.and left promptly at 4:30 P.M. for another engagement. It was a three pronged affair, the Korean Minister of Defense, the Korean War Veterans and the Kim Family Foundation, which was the sponsor of the event. The Kim Family Foundation was represented by D. K. Kim, son of the founder, Kim Leete. The daughter of the Minister of Defense is married to D.J. They are soon to become parents.

Military officials from all over the world were there. Generals, Admirals and yes, even some of those enlisted guys who were up front. Some Ex-Pow's including our own Bill Allen and Don Denny spoke briefly. Eddie Koh gave a three minute speech, extemporaneously,unrehearsed-not written, thanking the dignataries from Korea and the Kim Foundation. He got a standing ovation for what he said and how he said it.

Joan Arcand spoke on Women in the Military between 1950 and 1953. Arcand received a standing ovation.

Korea does not have the procedures nor protocol that we in America are familiar with. Ford had the National Anthems of both countries sang, Colors posted and the Pledge of Allegiance recited as well as Taps at the conclusion of the dinner. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

As usual, the photos you see below are the results of Staff Photographer Joe Sheehan. Joe is still fleet of foot and finger when photos are involved. GOD Bless you Joe.

©2002-2013 - Korean War Veterans Association - Florida - Chapter 14.

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