Korean War Monument Unveiled in Downtown Albany

Nov 12, 2014

By Jennifer Parks, Albany Herald

ALBANY — As part of a number of Veterans Day community events honoring those who have served, American Legion Posts 30 and 512, along with Sylvester Post 335 and the SOWEGA Veterans Coalition, gathered at Veterans Park on Tuesday morning to dedicate a Korean War monument that had been 60 years coming.

“As a vet, it means Americans are recognizing the service veterans did,” said Nick Nicholson, past commander of American Legion Post 30 and project officer for the Korean War monument that was recently erected in the downtown Albany park. “Freedom isn’t free. (Members of the military) are serving and dying today, and a lot of people don’t realize it.

“A lot of people don’t care.”

Known to some as the “Forgotten War,” the Korean War resulted in the deaths of 36,000 American service members, more than 90,000 who were wounded and 7,874 who are still missing in action. The memorial at Veterans Park, Nicholson said, is meant to serve as an acknowledgement to those who served in the conflict and their family members, as well as providing something their grandchildren and great-grandchildren can look back on.

It also helps cement the war’s place in history.

“Someday, they won’t be teaching World War II and the Korean War,” Nicholson said. “(The monument) will remind folks they died for our freedom.”

“It means a lot to every veteran to stand up and say thank you.”

Along with an invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance and recognition of the Korean War veterans present were remarks from Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.

“Americans have celebrated Veterans Day as an American holiday since 1919,” she said. “It is a day set aside to pay tribute to honor and say thank you to the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

“Today we celebrate and honor you, American veteran, for your patriotism. We thank you, veterans, for your service and love for our country. We thank you, veterans, for your personal sacrifices for the good of all Americans. We thank you, veterans, for you commitment. We thank you, veterans, for protecting our freedom. We thank you yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day.”

Hubbard went on to give recognition on behalf of the city for those who raised the money to make the Korean War memorial a reality and allow it to stand as a symbol showing that the sacrifices of those who served in it are not forgotten.

“It will stand as a reminder to the city of Albany and Southwest Georgia of the brave men and women who fought (and/or) died in the Korean War that we might enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today,” she said. “It will stand as a reminder to the city of Albany that our freedoms are not free.

“(It will) help us to know that they did not fight nor die in vain, and that they are still remembered for their bravery and for making the ultimate sacrifice.”

The next monument to go in the park, Nicholson said, will be one recognizing those who served in the War on Terror.

In addition to the ceremony at Veterans Park, there were also separate programs held Tuesday at Albany State University and Darton State College in honor of the community’s veterans.

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