The Forgotten War Remembered

WAILUKU – The Korean War, commonly known as “The Forgotten War,” was commemorated Wednesday night outside the War Memorial Gym as Maui veterans who fought and died in the conflict that began 64 years ago were honored and remembered.

The candlelight ceremony, hosted by the Maui Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association, was attended by about 250 veterans and their families, as well as local dignitaries. The annual event is in its 11th year, recognizing the war that began on June 25, 1950, and claimed the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans.

“Everything we do has a meaning,” Korean War veteran Robert “Sam” Fevella told the crowd. “I know some folks say you guys do the same thing every year. Well, nothing has changed over the years.

The names are still on the wall, and we still have to remember them.”

While the ceremony paid tribute to those who were killed or missing in action, it also honored all veterans who served in the war.

About 40 veterans had their names called, and they received certificates of appreciation from the U.S. Department of Defense’s 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee before the candlelighting ceremony. The anniversary, which was celebrated last year in May, honored 71 veterans.

“Not too often the American government honor us,” said Royal Vida, who received a certificate. “But this gathering is for all of those guys up there, and as long as we’re alive, we’re going to keep this going. Maybe they’re in a better place than us right now, but they did their duty, so we need to honor them.”

Maj. Gen. Edward L. Correa Jr., Hawaii’s 16th adjutant general, served as the keynote speaker for the event and was assisted by retired Col. Lloyd Sodetani of Maui.

Elaine Kaho’ohanohano, sister of Korean War Medal of Honor recipient Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano, also was in attendance, along with all nine members of the Maui County Council.

The Korean Community Choir sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” and Baldwin High School’s Junior ROTC cadets presented the colors.

Warren Nishida, president of the Maui Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association, said he was pleased to see one of the association’s biggest events of the year attended by such a large crowd.

“We just want to honor the guys who offered the supreme sacrifice for all citizens,” he said.

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at