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Korean War vets saluted with songs

May 30, 2004|By TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

Korean War veterans were honored Saturday night with patriotic songs mixed with tunes from the 1950s and brief stories of heroism.

The St. Patrick's Chorale and Children's Chorus and Concert Band put on the free show called "The Hero Within" before a full house at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater.

The volunteer nonprofit group will hold another free performance today at 3 p.m. at the theater.

"It's just our gift to the community and to the country ..." Chorale president John Stull said. "We can sing, but there are people out there giving their lives."

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Stull's wife, Bonnie Stull, who is the group's publicity chair, said the chorale honors a different era of veterans each year.

The chorale honored World War II veterans last year.

"I think it's great," Korean War veteran Ken Eicholtz said of the honor during the show's intermission. "It's past due, that's for sure."

Eicholtz, of Frederick, Md., served in the U.S. Army's 7th Infantry Division.

"It's enjoyable, and I'm sure the rest of it will be great," Eicholtz said.

Lou Surratt, a Korean War veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force, said he also was enjoying the show.

"I think it's very well put together," Surratt said. "It kind of sends a message to the veterans to let them know their service is appreciated."

Surratt, who lives in Hagerstown, is a member of Korean War Veterans Chapter 142 in Frederick.

The St. Patrick's Chorale formed seven years ago, and it's first performance was "The St. Patrick's Mass" by Philip Green, according to a written statement.

Since then, the chorale has performed spiritual and patriotic seasonal music twice a year, according to the statement.

Bonnie Stull said the group begins planning its shows a year in advance. The singers practice once a week beginning in January until performance night.

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