Washington’s Secretary of State’s office wants to make sure the Korean War, known as “The Forgotten War,” will be remembered.
Ahead of the 65th anniversary of the end of the war, twelve Washington state residents who fought and served in Korea, and grew up there during the conflict are being honored in an exhibit this summer at the state Capitol in Olympia.
”I think it’s absolutely wonderful,” said Dan Keenan, one of the honorees.
Someone left Keenan, as a newborn, at a U.S. military base in Korea in 1953. Navy sailors brought him to Seattle on board the Point Cruz, a Navy escort carrier.
“I guess bringing the baby on board lifted the spirits of everyone on the ship,” said Keenan, who ended up being adopted by one of the sailors.
At 94, Barbara Nichols, another honoree, is the oldest living military nurse. She served during World War II, in Korea and Vietnam.
The memory that sticks out about her time in Korea? The brutal winters.
“We had so much frostbite all we did was amputate, amputate, amputate,” said Nichols.
Nichols and Keenan didn’t meet until they and the other honorees took a group picture at the Korean War Memorial on the state Capitol campus in May.
But they share a bond and are both glad the state is honoring and remember those impacted by the war.
“Young people, they need to have this kind of thing,” said Nichols, “To learn what happened in our generation, what we did.”
More information on the exhibit can be found here.