(AP) The war that began in Korea 60 years ago, on June 25, 1950, a ghastly conflict that killed millions and left the peninsula in ruins, became “The Forgotten War” in many American minds.To a shrinking corps of aging men, however, the soldiers of Korea 1950-53, it can never be forgotten. It damaged many physically, scarred many mentally, and left men questioning their commanders’ and their nation’s wisdom.
They fought many enemies – not just the North Koreans and Chinese, but also the heat, the killing cold and the cursed hills, the thirst, hunger and filth, the incompetence and hubris of their own army, and the indifference of an American homeland still fixed on the “good” war, World War II, that had ended five years earlier.
In a wartime arc of desperation, triumph, retreat and final stalemate in Korea, no U.S. division sacrificed as much as the 2nd Infantry Division, losing more than 7,000 killed, one-fifth of total 36,516 U.S. dead. And it is the 2nd Infantry Division that still stands guard over South Korea today.