With Memorial Day approaching, the day honoring men and women who died in the Armed Forces, the nation recognizes conflicts and tension around the world and those who serve to promote peace.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jung-Un recently declared the Korean War Armistice invalid. With this statement, the North Korean regime reminds of the impact of the Korean War, those who experienced it, and how Korea and the world changed in the 60 years since its signing. And it is a reminder that the war did not end.
As North Korean threatens peace globally, locally Illinois veterans have been providing their accounts and histories of the Korean War through the Korean War National Museum in Springfield’s speaker series. The museum’s third event featuring veterans from “The Forgotten War” is Saturday, May 25 at 2 p.m. when retired Marine Corp Reserves Lieutenant Colonel John E. “Jack” Seitz will relate experiences in the conflict.
Seitz graduated from Northwestern University and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corp in 1952. He was accepted for flight training immediately after completing Basic School. After three aircraft accidents (two of which were mechanical failures within nine days) he was ordered to Korea. He served these as Executive officer of Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the closing days of the conflict.
Guests will have a chance to meet Seitz, listen to his experiences and ask questions. Students, educators, and media are welcome and encouraged to attend. Visitors may also review the museum’s memorabilia, uniforms and artifacts.
At the event, the KWNM will also be urging veterans to contribute stories on line through the “Wall of Honor” and include photos, videos and more.
Both the physical and virtual museums aim to bring to life the stories of individuals who served and partnered with nations around the world, providing insight to the challenges and accomplishments of the allied nations who fought against communist aggression. The KWNM further strives to recognize how the United Nations, United States, Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and China negotiated the Armistice.
Since that negotiation, much has changed. Communism has been deterred, the Republic of Korea has become a strong ally and example of democracy, American men and women of all races and backgrounds proudly serve side by side, and jet fighter aircraft technology pioneered back then continued to advance our military strength. South Korea has become beacon of freedom and democracy in Southeast Asia and a world economic power with companies like Hyundai, Samsung, LG, and Daewoo impacting technology and daily lives.
Other events are planned to honor the July 27, 1953 armistice and the brave men and women who served in the conflict. For more information, call the KWNM at 9 Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield or visit http://www.kwnm.org.
The Korean War National Museum (KWNM) is a is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to help people better understand and appreciate the service, sacrifices and success of the American, South Korean and Allied personnel during the Korean War. The KWNM operates The Denis J. Healy Freedom Center in Springfield, Illinois, located on the historic Old State Capitol Plaza. This 10,000 square foot facility has an interactive and professionally developed exhibit of items, artifacts, weapons, art, photographs and materials intended to help visitors gain an understanding of and appreciation for the services, sacrifices and successes of the American, South Korean and Allied forces who served in the Korean War. The Freedom Center is open with published hours and free admission. School groups, youth groups and civic groups are welcome. Please call 217-523-7230.
The Korean War National Museum continues to plan and prepare for the construction of the permanent museum space and welcome donors, sponsor or interested individuals to contact us, or support our fundraising activities. The KWNM is a 501(c) (3 ) charitable organization. All contributions are deductible to the extent allowable by law.