Korean War Veterans at Memorial Park in Mint Hill

Korean War Veterans James Humphries, William Stegall. (Ed Berti)

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Flags flying high with Carolina blue skies. (Ed Berti)
Korean War Memorial. (Ed Berti)
Bugle and bayonet. (Ed Berti)
M-1 rifle, helmet, boots as symbol of a fallen soldier. (Ed Berti)

Korean War veterans recently displayed Korea war artifacts at Veterans Memorial Park in Mint Hill to commemorate and show respect to their comrades who served and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The idea was to meet with veterans, their wives, family and friends of the members who served or have their name enshrined at the state memorial exhibit located off highway 218 in our community.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of hostile clashes along the border at the 38th Parallel as a product of the Cold War. Korea was split into two sovereign states in 1948, a socialist state in the north under communist leadership of Kim-IL-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Sygnman Rhee. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, and did not accept the border at the 38th Parallel as a permanent solution.

The north was supported by the Soviet Union and China, while the south received support from the United States. After the invasion by the north, the United Nations Security Council authorized the formation of the United Nations Command and dispatched forces to the region. The United States provided 90% of all the military personnel.

In just two months the South Korean forces with the support of rushed U.S. forces who  were rapidly dispatched who were outgunned and outnumbered were forced into a defensive position at the Pusan Perimeter.

Enter General Douglas MacArthur, who developed a plan to launch an amphibious UN counter-offensive at Inchon that cut-off the North Korean supply lines and trapped many of the north’s troops in the south. The U.N. forces invaded North Korea in October of 1950 and moved rapidly toward the Yalu River along the border of China, however, the Chinese to save the north from sure defeat on October 19th, crossed the Yalu River with hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops to enter the war. The surprise Chinese intervention forced the UN forces into a sudden retreat back below the 38th Parallel by late December 1950.

The fighting continued for two more years, but became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the original 38th Parallel. The ground war became a stalemate, however, the air war was controlled by the United States forces who subjected the north to a massive bombing campaign, while air-to-air combat in jet fighters broke out with the Soviets and the UN forces led by the Americans had gained the upper hand.

The fighting ended on July 17, 1953. When the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed by both states. The two veteran brothers who provided the display were William S. Stegall, United States Navy, and James F. Humphries, United States Army. Our nation thanks you for your service.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.