Col. Sol Baltimore, retired U.S. Army, speaks during a community centered Korean War Memorial Service marking the 66th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice. The event was held Saturday at Dieppe Park.
Nick Brancaccio / Windsor Star
For Korean War veteran Col. Sol Baltimore, 92, acknowledging the 66th anniversary of the conflict’s cease-fire is about honouring those who served and looking at the past to move toward the future.“If you don’t know where you’ve been, you’re going to have difficulty figuring out where you’re going,” the retired United States Army veteran said. “The volunteers of the Canadian military and what the U.S. did was help keep a free nation free.”Local veterans and their supporters gathered at Dieppe Gardens Saturday to mark the 66th anniversary of the war’s armistice. The service took place at the local Korean Veterans Association memorial which displays the names of the 516 men who lost their lives in the conflict, seven of those names are marked with a star, recognizing those who were from Windsor and Essex County.Let us never forget the sacrifices made by our neighbours, our family members and our friends — we will remember.“We’re dealing with some abstract terms of liberty and freedom and what those terms mean,” Baltimore said. “The veterans that I know who fought in South Korea are proud to be veterans in that conflict. I hope the families of those who were killed there especially take comfort in the fact they helped keep a free nation free.”When North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950 — just five years after the Second World War — the United Nations member states sent military support to South Korea — 16 countries made up the forces on the front line. After heavy fighting for three years and thousands of soldiers from several countries had been killed and injured, a cease-fire was ordered and the armistice was signed in Panmunjeon on July 27, 1953.
Col. Sol Baltimore, right, retired U.S. Army, speaks during a community centred Korean War Memorial Service marking the 66th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice at Dieppe Park Saturday. Assisting at left is Rev. Stan Fraser.
Nick Brancaccio /
“Look at the result, the Republic of Korea has become one of the largest economic powers in the world,” Baltimore said. “It was a well-learned lesson on what free people can do.”Related
The ceremony honoured the 26,000 Canadians who served and remembered the 1,558 Canadian casualties, including the 516 who died, the more than 36,000 American lives lost as well as those who suffered invisible lasting wounds. Nearly one million United Nations forces including South Koreans were killed, wounded or missing in action.“Korea has been called the last of the just wars and the forgotten war,” Baltimore said. “But it is not forgotten by the men who fought there and the families of the men who died there. The war will never be forgotten by the citizens of South Korea whose ancestors died in its defence.”Mayor Drew Dilkens, MPP Percy Hatfeild, and dignitaries from the Royal Canadian Naval Association, HMCS Hunter, Legon Riders, and several others laid wreaths around the memorial.“We gather to remember the people, the people who fought and the stories of their lives,” the mayor said in his remarks. “Let us never forget the sacrifices made by our neighbours, our family members and our friends — we will remember.”firstname.lastname@example.org