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Korean War vets honored
Peter Ogden, right, director of Maine's Bureau of Veteran Services, thanks Korean War U.S. Air Force veteran Len Greaney of Rumford for service to his country after presenting him a certificate of recognition on Saturday afternoon during the debut River Valley Korean War Veteran Recognition ceremony at the American Legion Post 24 hall in Rumford. About 80 people attended the three-hour event at which many River Valley area Korean War veterans and those who were killed or missing in action or who have since passed away were recognized. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
Presenting the colors for the River Valley Korean War veterans' recognition ceremony in Rumford on Saturday were members of the Boy Scout Troop 580. From left are Jared Bernard, Mitchell Dunbar and Sean Gould. Jared's grandfather, James Henry Trenoweth Sr., and Sean's grandfather, George Preston Donahue, both served in the Korean War. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
RUMFORD -- Sixty years is a long time to wait to be recognized.
Maine Korean War Veterans from the River Valley area were recognized Saturday at American Legion Post No. 24. Peter Ogden, director of Maine Veterans Services, and Legion Commander Patricia Thurston presented Maine certificates and Defense Department certificates to recognize those veterans attending.
Last Thurday, Gov. Paul LePage signed a proclamation on to make July 27 Maine Korean War Veteran Recognition Day. The proclamation was sponsored by Rep. Sen. James Hamper of Oxford following the proposal of the recognition day made by Len Greaney, a Korean veteran as well as Oxford County veterans researcher.
More than 1,000 veterans in five Maine towns — Lewiston, Bangor, Sanford, Brunswick and Rumford — were honored to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice ending the Korean War.
It also recognized the 38 Maine military personnel who became prisoners of war or missing in action and the 245 who were killed during the war. More than 36,000 U.S. military members were killed and more than 100,000 were wounded in the Korean War.
Korea has been called the country's forgotten war, because its veterans were ignored for so many years.
Guest speaker, U.S. Sen Michael Michaud, noted, "It is never going to be forgotten by those who served in it and the families of those who served in that war. And the people of Korea will certainly never forget those who help turn back the tide of communism in the southern half of the Korean penisula. It is because of our veterans that the Republic of Korea has developed into a modern society and has a democracy over there."
They are free because of veterans who are here today, in this room, who made them free. We are here now, not only to observe the war and the warriors, but also to thank them for their service to this great nation of ours.
This day of remembrance is critical to preserving a history of this war and the accomplishments of the great Americans who served in this war," he said.
Following the event, refreshments were served, with many going outside on the Post 24 lawn to review the 11 'mock-up' memorial panels placed by Greaney listing the 1,022 River Valley Korean War veterans.