Remembering the Korean War

By Lindsay Nielsen

July 27, 2011 Updated Jul 27, 2011 at 8:35 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Wednesday marked the 58th Anniversary of the agreement to end the Korean War.

In Owego, a memorial service commemorates Armistice Day and recognizes 13 fallen heroes from Tioga County.

"To be in war, war is the most terrifying thing a person can go through," says Korean War Veteran, Joe Ceurter of Lisle.

Ceurter has received two Silver Stars, two Bronze Star medals, and five Purple Heart medals for his service as First Sergeant in the 1st Calvary Division.

He still remembers his first battle in the Korean War.

"Of 1,200 men we ended up with 36 before I was wounded and I was the only one that could read maps and call the artillery," says Ceurter.

For the first time the Owego Veterans Memorial Committee held a service to recognize National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.

"What I miss in life was three or four things, number one family, number two seeing more of my country, and number three would be more unity in the United States," says Korean War Veteran, Sam Osborne of Windsor.

More than 54,000 American servicemen and women lost their lives in the three year war, including 13 from Tioga County.

And yet it's called the Forgotten War.

"It's the forgotten war and my kids have to remind a lot of their teachers when they were going to school that there was a war in Korea," says Korean War Vet Nicholas Kovachick of Owego.

Many Korean War Vets also call it the Forgotten War because it was referred to as a police action and not a declared war.

But officially a war or not, it changed relations between the U.S. and Korea significantly.

"I think it changed the landscape, the people of Korea who are free today. I think they've got a great economy and when we were there we never thought of buying a samsung television, so look what they've accomplished," says Jim Raftis, member of the Owego Veterans Memorial Committee.

The Memorial service included a presentation of the color guard, and a wreath dedication to remember those who fought and died in the Korean War.

The Owego Veterans Memorial Committee plans to hold this service annually.