State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Carrick, took in a ceremony marking the July 27, 1953 beginning of the Korean armistice and the conclusion of combat in the battle to prevent the military spread of communism in Asia in the 1950s.
The observance was held at the Korean War Veterans Memorial off North Shore Drive on the Allegheny River esplanade near PNC Park.
The Korean War was initiated by the invasion of South Korea by the forces of communist North Korea in June of 1950 and continued for more than three years. As United Nations forces, lead by the United States turned back the North Korean offensive and advanced into North Korea itself, the People's Republic of China sent in hordes of troops backed by military aid from the old Soviet Union. American troops and their UN allies battled both frigid temperatures and the Chinese, forcing a stalemate along the 38th parallel where a still-tense truce has remained in effect for 58 years.
Mr. Readshaw reminded ceremony attendees about the toll of American lives in the war; more than 36,000 combat deaths and nearly 3,000 lost from non-combat causes. More than 92,000 were wounded and over 7,000 taken prisoner. The fate of another 8,000 Americans missing on the peninsula remains unknown.
The state representative's voice echoed from the monument inscribed with the names of 932 men and women from Western Pennsylvania who died in Korea. He said the memorial ceremony must remain a local tradition for generations to come.
"We must remember our heroes," Mr. Readshaw said, "veterans who made the supreme sacrifice; those who served; those who answered their country's call with respect; those who answered their country's call in a responsible way; those who heard the message of the man who became our 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower:"