As the station wraps up its week-long series on the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, Lewis Dodley takes a look at the many memorials and tributes paid to veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The "Little Angels" as they're called were formed to express gratitude to the countries that came to Korea's aid in the war. Recently, they performed in New York City to acknowledge the American veterans' sacrifices.
"It's more than great. After 60 years you start to wonder...you never hear about the Korea War veteran. I really thought we were forgotten," said Korean War Veteran James H.E. Wrighton.
The American veteran will never be forgotten in Korea. One memorial in Seoul even lists the names of those killed state by state.
Never forgotten by the hardened Korean veterans, who defended their country and helped bring it back from the ashes. In fact, tributes were paid by all branches of the Korean military. Even those who have now relocated to America returned to pay their respects on what they consider sacred ground.
"I participated in the Korean War when I was 14 as a student soldier. I haven't been back to South Korea for a long time and it is surprising to see our country's economic growth. I truly long for my motherland," said Korean War Veteran Eun Joo Park.
The United Nations and U.S. soldiers who lost their lives were also remembered at a solemn ceremony in Busan, a city which never changed hands during the war.
In many ways, Busan represents both the starting point and ending point for American soldiers serving in the Korean War. For Retired Rear Admiral J. Robert Lunney of the Bronx, it also represents the gateway to freedom for tens of thousands of refugees fleeing North Korean and later Chinese soldiers -- refugees who later became the backbone of what we know as South Korea today.
"You have at least a million descendants of these people, the 98,000 that were eventually evacuated," Lunney said.
Lunney's captain made the decision to board thousands of evacuees in a daring move that put his own life at risk. His reason why was simple and biblical.
"No greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his friends," Lunney said.