The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Illinois Department of
Veterans' Affairs, Illinois Korean Memorial Association, and the
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, along with media
partners the Illinois Press Association and the Illinois
Broadcasters Association, are sponsoring "Illinois Remembers the
Forgotten War." For more information, visit
Illinoisans killed in action in Korea,
By county of residence
(Source: U.S. Department of Defense records)
Pvt. Charles R. Cook,
Army, Jan. 14.
2nd Lt.Donald F.
Lambert, Marines, Jan. 8.
Pfc. Thomas G. Sykora,
Army, Jan. 5.
Pfc. Marcial T. Vera, Army, Jan. 7.
- Pfc. Otis C. Smith, Marines, Jan. 25.
- Cpl. Thomas H. Cassens, Army, Jan. 5.
- Pfc. William D. Waller, Army, Jan. 8.
1st Lt. Charles
Overstreet, Army, Jan. 8.
Pvt. Edwin A. Rietz, Army, Jan. 3.
- Cpl. Philip H. Sawyer, Army, Jan. 8.
Pfc. George E. Hand,
Marines, Jan. 15.
Pfc. Edward J. Tomlin, Marines, Jan.
Key events during the Korean War,
Although the war had been raging on the Korean Peninsula for 2
1/2 years, a single event at home on Jan. 20, 1953, changed the
entire situation in Korea. On that date, Dwight D. Eisenhower was
inaugurated as president of the United States and immediately began
taking steps to fulfill his campaign promise to end the war in
Korea. He nominated John Foster Dulles to replace Dean Acheson as
secretary of state and Charles Wilson to replace Robert Lovett as
secretary of defense. Both men would join the president in his
efforts to end the fighting, something that would be realized
following almost six months of some of the most desperate fighting
of the war.
But the war seemed as intractable as ever as the new year dawned.
The Communists still insisted that all prisoners held by U.N. forces
be returned to their control, while Eisenhower adopted outgoing
President Truman's pledge that no prisoner who did not want to be
repatriated would be forcibly sent north.
On Jan. 25, just a few days after Eisenhower's inauguration, the
U.S. 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division launched
Operation Smack, an assault on the Communist stronghold known as
Spud Hill. The attack was supported by both tanks and airstrikes,
but was still repulsed by the Communists. Casualties were heavy on
A newly arrived reporter who witnessed the fighting wrote a
scathing criticism of the operation, accusing the Americans of
staging the attack for visiting dignitaries. His report further
eroded the American public's lagging support for the war, while also
raising serious questions about the objectivity of the American
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Illinois Korean War Memorial
The Illinois Korean War Memorial is located in Springfield's Oak
Ridge Cemetery, the same cemetery that contains the Lincoln Tomb.
Oak Ridge is the nation's second-most visited burial ground, behind
only Arlington National Cemetery.
Dedicated on June 16, 1996, the memorial consists of a
12-foot-tall bronze bell mounted on a granite base. At the
circumference of the base are four niches, each with a
larger-than-life figure representing a branch of the armed services.
Inscribed on the base are the names of 1,754 Illinoisans killed in
The Illinois Korean War Memorial is administered by the Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency and may be visited daily free of
Korean War veterans oral history project
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
The oral history program at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum offers "Veterans
Remember," a collection of interviews with Illinois residents
about their wartime experiences, at the library's website,
www.alplm.org/oral_history/home.html. The interviews concern the
experiences of Illinois veterans who fought in several conflicts,
including the Korean War, as well as the experiences of those on the
home front. Visitors to the website can listen to or watch the
interviews in their entirety. Several of the interviews have
transcripts, and most have still images as well.
Website visitors will need a computer capable of playing MP3
audio files or MPG compressed video files in order to listen to the
interviews. The transcripts and still images are also accessible.
Volunteers conducted and edited many of the interviews and developed
the transcripts that accompany them.
Korean War National Museum
The Korean War National Museum, or KWNM, celebrates the 60th
anniversary of the Korean War with a renewed focus on getting a
world-class museum built now, in the lifetime of the Korean War
veterans. Meanwhile, the Denis J. Healy Freedom Center, located at 9
South Old State Capitol Plaza in Springfield, is open Tuesday
through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but
donations are accepted. The KWNM welcomes donations of photographs,
documents, diaries and artifacts of those who served in the Korean
War. To learn more about the KWNM, or to volunteer or donate, visit
www.kwnm.org or look for the
museum on Facebook.
Korean War booklet
The Illinois Korean Memorial Association, an all-volunteer
organization, has published a booklet, "A Brief History of the
Korean War," copies of which have been provided free of charge to
public libraries, high schools and junior high schools in Illinois.
Individuals may obtain a copy by sending a $10 check or money order
to: Illinois Korean Memorial Association, P.O. Box 8554,
Springfield, IL 62791.
Tax-deductible donations are welcome. All donations go to the
book project and to the upkeep of the Illinois Korean War Memorial.
[Text from file received from the