(Photo above left) Korean War Veteran Gregory Garcia (left) and Korean War Veteran Richard Ruiz (right) escort Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. (Right photo) Wreaths were placed at the Korean War Memorial during the the Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter #56, special ceremony on Saturday, July 28 at Veterans Memorial Park in Santa Paula. Photos by Susan Branham

Korean War Veterans Association holds special ceremony

August 03, 2007
Santa Paula News
By Susan Branham Santa Paula TimesThe service patches, medals and ribbons on their uniforms spoke of battles long ago. Guadalcanal. The Big Red 1. Stalag (prison camp) patches. Purple Hearts. Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam gathered to show honor and respect for those who died in a far-off war. The Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter #56, held a special ceremony on Saturday, July 28 at Veterans Memorial Park in Santa Paula. It was the 54th anniversary of the ending of the Korean War.“This is our 54th year,” Commander David Lopez said. “The purpose of these ceremonies is to honor 54,284 men and women who died in the Korean War. We also honor those who came home and who are now deceased. We owe those who are not here a debt of gratitude - we can never forget those who did not come back. We’re proud to have our district representative, Kathy Long, laying the first wreath.”Veterans escorted Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long to place a wreath at the Veteran’s Memorial. Then they escorted families and friends of servicemen who lost their lives in the war to lay wreaths for their loved ones, remembering and honoring them for their sacrifice.Santa Paula Councilmember Robert Gonzales addressed the crowd. “It’s an honor to be asked to be speaker today,” Gonzales said. His speech outlined the history of the Korean War and he thanked the Veterans for the sacrifices they made. “It was a struggle for freedom the U.S. was right to enter,” he said. “As in all wars, we pay for the freedoms we preserve. We honor our great soldiers. They deserve our respect. Thank you for your service, thank you for your courage, thank you for your valor.”
KWVA #56 Vice Commander Mike Hidalgo read the casualty list. It included names of servicemen from throughout the county. George Compton from the Veterans Administration spoke as well, telling of the accomplishment of bringing the new Veteran’s Home to Ventura County.The Color Guard proudly carried three flags: the United States Flag, the POW-MIA Flag, and the Korean War Veterans Flag. A 21-gun salute by the Honor Guard and the playing of taps by Rudy Arellano concluded the ceremony. But the tradition does not end there. The Korean War Memorial lists the names of servicemen lost, and adds this obligation: “We, the living, must dedicate our lives so that these Santa Paulans may not have died in vain.”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.