Korean War memorial dedication set for 2004

Korean War memorial dedication set for 2004 Gov. Mike Rounds has announced that South Dakota will honor Korean War veterans and unveil a bronze statue in their honor at a dedication ceremony in Pierre on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2004.

"After more than 50 years, our state will finally honor these heroic South Dakotans who fought at places like Pusan, Heartbreak Ridge, Seoul, Inch'on, Pork Chop Hill, Bloody Ridge, and T-Bone Hill in the name of freedom," Rounds said.

Early plans for the Korean War Memorial Dedication include a parade featuring military, college and high school bands from across the state, USO tent with entertainment, statue unveiling, daytime fireworks display and military aircraft fly over. A Web site is being established for details of the dedication and Korean War.

According to Major General Mike Gorman, adjutant general for the State of South Dakota, almost 26,000 South Dakotans fought in the Korean War.

"Over 12,000 of those Korean War veterans still live here in South Dakota," Gorman said, "and 173 South Dakotans were killed in combat in Korea."

A 7-foot tall bronze statue of a Korean War soldier dressed in winter battle gear will be added immediately next to the Flaming Fountain at the Veterans Memorial next to Capitol Lake. Pierre artist Lee Leuning designed the Korean War bronze with input from a committee of Korean War veterans appointed by the governor.

According to national statistics, 1.75 million Americans fought in Korea.

Almost 34,000 were killed in action; 103,000 were wounded in action and more than 7,000 were taken as prisoners of war.

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