Korean War veterans honored on 60th anniversary of armistice
July 27, 2013 at 2:27 a.m.
The American flag fluttered in the sky as a buzzing sound starts a standing tremor in the air.
The call for taps raises every veteran at Greenbelt Park on Saturday morning to stand tall with arms at attention to honor those who died during the Korean War. Sixty years later, they remember.
Compared to other veterans, C.G. Atzenhoffer said he doesn't have a memorable story to tell, "I was just in supply," he said, bowing his head.
"I flew supplies to the different bases in the United States. I flew all over the United States. That was my job, to furnish supplies."
Looking at the big picture, he said supplies were what was desperately needed during the beginning of the war.
"When we first started out, we were just so ill-equipped," he said. "We were fighting machine guns with carving rifles, and they were training with broomsticks."
The U.S. suffered 33,686 battle deaths, 2,380 nonbattle deaths and 8,176 missing in action service members during the three-year war, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
"That's when we suffered our greatest tragedies," Atzenhoffer said. "It was frustrating for us that we were here trying to get stuff ready.
"I often think we never should have gotten into the war until we were ready."
District Attorney Steve Tyler spoke at the ceremony, thanking the veterans for their bravery that helped pave his success in life.
"I grew up in a country you kept for me," he said. "It's your courage, your blood and your sacrifices purchased for me and my family."
After three years, the U.S., the People's Republic of China, North Korea and South Korea agreed to an armistice, bringing the war to an end.
"I came home to Texas," Atzenhoffer said. "There wasn't much future at that time. I was homesick. I wanted to get back home to my parents, friends and Victoria."
About seven years ago, the Korean War Veterans Chapter 223 placed a monument in Greenbelt Park to honor the veterans who served in Korea.
They have a memorial service every July 27.
"This represents the men who fought and the men who died in the Korean conflict," said Troy Howard, who is with the chapter. "I would like for all the Korean veterans to take pride that they fought in that war."