Continuing the Department of Defense’s commitment to acknowledge Veterans of the Korean War, the Korean War Veterans Association of Rhode Island recently hosted a medal presentation ceremony in Chepatchet.
55 local veterans from the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) Chapter 3 were eligible to receive the medallions, including Coventry resident Bernard G. Kenahan.
Navy Commander John O’Brien, a member of the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, presented the Veterans with medals from the Republic of Korea.
“It is imperative that we honor our Korean War Veterans for the contributions they made to ensure that freedom was preserved on the Korean Peninsula,” said Commander O’Brien. “People should never forget that the Korean War was the beginning of the end of Communism and without the sacrifices made by our Veterans and those who died in Korea, Communism might have spread to other parts of Asia.”
In an event earlier this year
marking the 60th anniversary of the armistice agreement which ended the Korean War, veterans were given
certificates of appreciation signed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in anticipation of the Sept. 11 presentation. Now, the Department of Defense continues to tour the
country to deliver the medallions to deserving veterans as a proper recognition. Each medal, attached to a
ribbon, was placed around the neck of the veteran by the DoD representative.
The end of the Korean War, (June 20, 1950 July 27, 1953), dubbed “The Forgotten War”, met returning soldiers with little recognition for their service.
"This ceremony represents the immense gratitude by the people of the Republic of Korea to the veterans of the United States military for their sacrifice, defending freedom and democracy in the Korean War," read a release from the KWVA. "For the local veterans and families present, this is an important event which will remind them that their service and dedication has not been forgotten."
Rhode Island’s KWVA Chapter 3, which represents northern RI, applied to receive the medallions for their members earlier this year. For those veterans who were unable to attend the ceremony due to health or otherwise, arrangements were made by KWVA members to hand deliver the medallions.