Huge response to Korea vets event in Iowa
Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier
WATERLOO, Iowa --- A July 14 event honoring Iowa veterans of the Korean War has grown so large that it will now be held at the Knapp Center at Drake University, organizers said.
More than 2,000 Iowa Korean War Veterans and the families --- three times what was anticipated --- have applied to receive certificates from the U.S. Department of Defense, said Sherrie Colbert, director of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston, the site of the original ceremony.
"That's just surprising. I can't believe we've gotten those kinds of numbers," said Sid Morris of Cedar Falls, chairman of the Tallcorn Chapter of Korean War Veterans.
"I think we've got pretty good representation from all over the state," Colbert said. More than half of the veterans, plus their families, are anticipated to actually attend the July 14 event, Colbert said. The Knapp Center seats about 7,000 people. Others who have opted not to attend will have certificates mailed to them.
"We're still getting calls. It's happily more than we anticipated," Colbert said. "We're very excited about being the ones to be able to do this for our Iowa Korean War veterans. It's long overdue and we're happy to do it."
The event will begin at 1 p.m. and feature a speech by Brig. Gen. Janet Phipps, the highes-ranking woman within the Iowa National Guard.
National Guard personnel will assist with the event, Colbert said.
The certificates and the July 14 event are part of a 60th anniversary commemoration of the war by the Defense Department, in cooperation with the national Korean War Veterans Association's Tell America program. It is one of many nationwide events leading up to the 60th anniversary of the July 27, 1953, armistice.
"My favorite expression is, 'The Forgotten War' is now remembered," Morris said. "Most of the Korean vets I've talked to --- and I've talked to a lot of them --- have been very thankful about the recognition."
Distributed by MCT Information Services