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Hagerstown Korean War veterans group wants to be sure `forgotten war' is remembered

Association is raising money to build a memorial at corner of Potomac Avenue and Mealey Parkway

May 01, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, center, signs a resolution Tuesday to build a Korean War memorial at the corner of Potomac Avenue and Mealey Parkway. Standing behind the mayor are members of the Korean War Veterans Association, Antietam Chapter 312, from left to right: Commander Jim Ensminger, Vice Commander Les Bishop and Jim Mobley, chairman of the monument committee.
By C.J. Lovelace, Staff Writer

The Korean War is often called the “forgotten war,” but a resolution signed Tuesday in Hagerstown will make sure the local men and women who served during the conflict are always remembered.

Joined by numerous members of Antietam Chapter 312 of the Korean War Veterans Association, city Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II put his signature on an agreement to construct a memorial at the corner of Potomac Avenue and Mealey Parkway in Hagerstown.

“We thought we needed to have something permanent that would keep the focus of the war in place and to honor those individuals who served during that war, and most particularly those who gave their lives during that time period,” Jim Mobley, chairman of the chapter’s monument committee, said in a news release.

There were 31 residents of Washington County who died in the war, while countless others were injured, Mobley said.

The Antietam chapter, which is designing the memorial, wants to raise $100,000 for the project, which would be maintained by the city. It would include a monument and a granite tablet with the names of the 31 county residents who were killed in action.

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Fundraising has been ongoing, but the group still needs about $35,000 to qualify for matching funds from the state, chapter Vice Cmdr. Les Bishop said.

Bishop said state funding could contribute up to $40,000, which would be a big help in making the memorial a reality.

Washington County has donated $10,000 to the project, and numerous other organizations have kicked in funds.

“The whole chapter feels the response from the public has been excellent,” Mobley said. “We want to keep that going. We’re just thankful and grateful for the support so far from the general public, and particularly some of the veterans’ organizations, businesses and service clubs.”

The chapter hopes to break ground on the construction of the memorial on June 25, Bishop said.

A formal dedication is planned for July 27, 2013, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the signing of the cease-fire order that ended the conflict. There has never been a peace treaty signed between the conflicting nations.

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