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2017 News

“Not Allowed to Forget"

July 27, 2017

Commissioners Pay Tribute to Fallen Heroes, Veterans & Families to Commemorate 64th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice

On a cool, overcast Thursday, July 27, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners hosted the Bucks County Yong Dung Po Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association to conduct the 17th annual county Korean War Armistice Day Ceremony. The Bucks County Courthouse Memorial Courtyard was filled with 21 Korean War veterans – all of whom stood to be recognized - their families and a Marine Corps detail on the 64th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. The occasion is an annual remembrance of the 38 Bucks Countians who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War.

Veteran placing a flower on the memorialEmceed by 86-year-old Korean War veteran Jerry Jonas, who was a 22-year-old when the guns went silent, the ceremony represents “a very special day for veterans of the Korean War. For those of us who served, it’s hard to believe 64 years have passed. If I close my eyes, it seems like only weeks.” Mr. Jonas also remembered fellow veteran Kenneth Goodrow, who passed away during the last year.

Commissioner Chairman Charles H. Martin welcomed the attendees, noting that the Korean War Memorial structure recently was refurbished by the Bucks County General Services division. He thanked all the assembled veterans for their service, including the uniformed members of the 14th Marine Artillery Regiment who remain on active duty. Chairman Martin added that he has attended all but one of the 17 county Korean War ceremonies during his commissioner tenure. He concluded with a quote from President Calvin Coolidge, who famously said, “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

Bucks County Director of Veterans Affairs Dan Fraley delivered the keynote address, painting a story of hardship and sacrifice that Korean veterans authored. “I didn’t realize how bloody the Korean War was until I did some research,” he said, noting that conditions reached 50 below zero at times during the war. “There were 131 Medals of Honor awarded during Korea, because of the American spirit I believe.”

Korean War memorial full of flowers for the Armistice ceremonyPennsylvania Senator Robert Casey sent his best wishes through a member of his staff, offering an Abraham Lincoln quote about those who fight in the United States Armed Services must be prepared to offer “the last full measure of devotion.”

During the Korean War, approximately 37,000 American soldiers were killed and 102,000 were wounded before the guns fell silent after three years of continuous fighting. Another 8,200 remain missing to this day.

Honored veterans, family members and dignitaries laid wreaths and 38 long-stemmed red roses at the Korean Memorial. The ceremony concluded with a rifle salute in the Memorial courtyard. A full list of those honored during the hour-long event is below:

Korean War Honored Dead  

Harold L. Adams – U.S. Army    John J. McDonnell – U.S. Army
Auston W. Beetle – U.S. Air Force Raymond H. Miller – U.S. Army 
Herbert Besch, Jr. – U.S. Army  James L. Niblick – U.S.Army
Matthew J. Biedka – U.S. Air Force Robert J. Ortlip – U.S.Navy 
Robert E. Brown – U.S. Army Warren E. Palmer – U.S. Army 
Harry Y. Eisenbray – U.S. Navy Clarence F. Rotenberger – U.S. Army 
Hans W. Grahl – U.S. Marine Corps  John M. Rozear, Jr. – U.S. Army 
Warren H. Harms – U.S. Army Christopher Schlitz – U.S. Army 
Thurle L. Hileman – U.S. Army Thomas F. Solometo – U.S. Army
John J. Holden – U.S. Army John M.L. Stern, Jr. – U.S. Army
John D. Hunsberger – U.S. Marine Corps George W. Supplee – U.S. Air Force
Norbert G. Hurt – U.S. Army John J. Truan – U.S. Army 
Casimir P. Kaczor – U.S. Army William F. Underdown - U.S. Army
Edward B. Keller – U.S. Army Richard Vaneekhoven – U.S. Army 
Harold D. Kellett – U.S. Army Walter G. Wieckowski – U.S. Army 
William R. Lewis – U.S. Marine Corps
William J. Wiley – U.S. Army
Attilio M. Lupacchini – U.S. Marine Corps Gracian H. White – U.S. Army
Bruce F. Mathewson - U.S. Marine Corps Bernard M. Young – Marine Corps