Walking along the Han River in Korea, John Doranski held an old photo of his dad, Lt. Richard Doranski. He noticed landmarks in the background of the picture, which was taken during the Korean War, and tracked down the location where his father served in the Army from 1951 to 1952.
Doranski, whose father died when he was 17, also served in Korea in the mid-1980s and early 2000s. For about eight years, he’s been attending a ceremony remembering the anniversary of the war at the Korean War Monument in Killeen.
The event, sponsored by Chapter 222 of the Korean War Veterans Association, commemorated the 37,000 Americans who gave their lives in combat in Korea, the 400 prisoners of war who never returned and more than 8,000 still listed as missing in action in what is sometimes referred to as the forgotten war.
“I look around here and I see a smaller number (of surviving Korean War veterans) every year ... I wonder, if (my dad) was still alive, is this what he would have looked like,” said Doranski, a retired staff sergeant. “My father passed away 30 years ago, so I look at these men here and reflect back on my father, if he had still been alive, and what this (would) mean to him.”
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Homer Garza, president of the veterans association, said “it means a lot to us and to the Korean population” that the community comes together every year to remember the veterans.
Seoung Ri Lim, a Korean, said he is thankful of the service Americans gave his country during the war. “So often we hear the Korean War is the forgotten war, but in Korea, we remember what you did for us,” he said.