Memorial Day 2024

Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti lays a wreath at the US monument at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, Korea.

The U.S. has fought wars overseas from almost the very beginning of its history. Many of the fallen have, by necessity or by choice, been lain to rest in the country where they fell.

The American Battle Monuments Commission administers 26 cemeteries and 31 monuments, almost all of which are located overseas. One of them is the monument in the picture, the U.S. Korean War Memorial in the United Nations cemetery in Busan, Korea.

A poem of the “forgotten war” by Lt. Cmdr. (Ret.) Roberto J. Prinselaar, U.S. Coast Guard:

We didn’t do much talking,
We didn’t raise a fuss.
But Korea really happened
So please – remember us.

We all just did our duty
But we didn’t win or lose.
A victory was denied us
But we didn’t get to choose.

We all roasted in the summer
In winter, we damn near froze.
Walking back from near the Yalu
With our blackened frozen toes.

Like the surf the Chinese kept coming
With their bugles in the night.
We fired into their masses
Praying for the morning light.
All of us just had to be there

And so many of us died.
But now we’re all but half forgotten
No one remembers how we tried.

We grow fewer with the years now
And we still don’t raise a fuss.
But Korea really happened
So please – remember us.

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