Memorial Day is for remembering…and every year as our nation observes this day, I pause and remember the expensive price that was paid for our freedom.
And like so many others I reflect on the very personal price that it cost my family.
I was first made aware, as a small child, of the reality that liberty does not come cheap. When I was born my family was still acutely feeling the effects of losing one of their own on a field of battle. As a child I vividly remember my grandmother’s grief over the loss of her son.
My Uncle Ted was an MIA in the Korean War and was not found for 17 long months.
He was finally located on a lonely Korean beach where he had been hastily interred. His family was told that my Uncle Ted was killed during a beach assault while rushing off a troop carrier. He was 20 years old.
The Korean War is often called “The Forgotten War” but it will never be forgotten by my family.
Gratefully, it only lasted three years, June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1953, but for those who lost loved ones there, it was three years too long!
What you may not realize is that The United States Armed Forces suffered 33,665 Americans killed in action in “the forgotten war” in Korea.
As I have researched my uncle’s military history and the record of his death on the Korean War Project Website, I have found that he died in the deadliest battle of that entire war.
The Battle of the Pusan Perimeter which lasted from August 4, 1950-September 16, 1950, was won at the price of 3,603 American lives. It was very early in the war but this battle would prove to be the most costly in terms of casualties and my Uncle was one of those killed in action.
My father and my other uncle, Joe, also served in the Korean war.
And in fact, I was born while my father was away serving in the U.S. Navy many thousand of miles away from home.
I honor the fighting men of our nation who gave their last full measure of devotion for our freedom. I also honor those who gave valuable years of their young lives in service to our country!
THANK YOU for your sacrifices!
THANK YOU UNCLE TED!…
PFC THEODORE GROENEVELD
9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Army
Hostile, Died (KIA)
Date Of Loss: September 1, 1950
Location of Loss: YONGSAN, SOUTH KOREA
Born: August 21, 1930
HOMETOWN: TINLEY PARK, IL
Comments: Private First Class Groeneveld was a member of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in South Korea on September 1, 1950.
Korean War Project Key No: 11547