The 13th annual Korean War Era/POW-MIA Remembrance Day event begins at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis, Wash. All Korean War era veterans will be honored and recognized for their service.
Separated from his fighting unit, Tacoma native Bill Moeller trudged through thick snow in thin rubber boots near the Chipyongni area of Korea.
He hid behind boulders while a troop of Asian soldiers marched past, then glanced over his shoulder to see white flares, indicating a Chinese surge forward.
"The hill behind the lights appeared to be moving, like a slow avalanche, and I realized that what I was seeing was the entire side of the hill covered in moving men dressed in white parkas," said Moeller, who made one parachute jump during his service and later pursued a civilian radio career.
Moeller, a former Centralia mayor and longtime council member as well as an entertainer experienced at portraying Mark Twain, will share recollections of his service with the 187th regimental Combat Team Sept. 18 during the Veterans Memorial Museum's 13th annual Korean War Era/POW-MIA Remembrance Day.
The event, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the start of the war, begins at 12:30 p.m. at the museum in Chehalis, Wash., with a concert performed by the Washington American Legion Brass Quintet. The program starts at 1 p.m.
A special POW table will feature stories narrated by Chippewa Marine Corps vet Harvey Rabbitt in his native tongue, with museum Executive Director Lee Grimes translating. Fifteen-year-old Lydia Bowes of Mossyrock, Wash., will recite a poem she wrote entitled "Korea-The Forgotten War." Each Korean War era veteran and any ex-POW's will be individually recognized.
Republic of Korea Marines also are planning to attend, and the Korean Consulate in Seattle may send a representative. Sen. Paul Shinn, of Korean descent, also has been invited.
South Korean immigrants John and Sarah Lee have offered Korean War veterans a free breakfast at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20, at their Rose Tree Restaurant at Castle Rock.
At the conclusion of the event, a photographer will snap a group picture of Korean War era veterans and all POWs, and light refreshments will be served.
The free Remembrance program, open to the public, is a time to honor our Korean War Era veterans and the ex-Prisoners of War who endured so much suffering for the cause of freedom. The fee to tour the museum will be reduced in honor of the event.