Visiting Washington, D.C. is an exciting adventure and to be totally honest, there is so much to see and do in the nation’s capital that it is impossible to accomplish over a weekend or even a weeks time.
I have had the enjoyment of visiting the District of Columbia on many occasions and one of my favorite historical sights to re-visit is the Korean War Memorial.
There is something about understanding the political environment during that period and time frame in the world that helps set the stage for viewing the memorial. When I think about the sacrifice of our nations citizens to secure freedom I am moved toward greater thankfulness and appreciation.
When you first view the Korean War Memorial in person the first thing that strikes you is the size of the monuments. Their larger than life presence scattered throughout the field as they are posed in such a way as to be making their way through a field is a moving and inspiring moment. The individual soldier monuments’ serve as a reflection of their impact during the war and their impact in the world because the defended democracy and fought for freedom across the seas and around the world.
The day was Dec. 2, 1950 when Cpl. William F. Day was declared MIA (Missing In Action). The combat actions were between the CPVF and the 31st RCT in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
On Sept. 13, 1994 the DPRK unilaterally turned over 14 boxes containing remains believed to be unaccounted-for U.S. Servicemen from the Korean War. The remains were reportedly discovered eleven miles south of Hargarurilong, which is the route the 1st Marine Division used for a withdrawal to Hungnam.
The Northeast Asia Research and Analysis Division concluded the association of the remains with that of Cpl. William F. Day a Kentucky soldier who went MIA during that time frame and who had traveled that route during the war.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear ordered all flags half-staff on April 7 in honor of Korean War casualty William F. Day. Memorial services were conducted at Ballard Memorial High School in Barlow, Ky., with interment at the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery outside of LaCenter, Ky.
Remembering and honoring his life and sacrifice are most important for Kentuckians to do at this time. Remembering those who have served is always the right thing to do and to honor his life at this time is most appropriate as we should never forget those who left to serve and have never returned.
Sixty-four years is a long time to be away and 64 years is a long time to be remember and loved. Closure is an important element and while questions may still linger from the conflict and the exact details of his death remain unanswered, he has been returned home and in dignity and honor he will be saluted by a grateful commonwealth and nation.
Our country has been served by so many willing Kentuckians, willing to ‘suit up and march away’ as in former days, or volunteer as is the enlistment process of today. There are 7,888 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
The Bible is very clear about giving honor to whom honor is due. Scriptures is also very clear in its teaching that there is no greater sacrifice/love than being willing to lay down your life for another.
William F. Day not only lived up to these distinctions but he died demonstrating these traits of honor and heroism. Long has the flag for MIA’s waved over courthouses, parks and government buildings and long have we not forgotten those that never returned home.
Receiving full military honors for his service, the presentation of the flag of the United States was presented to the family on behalf of the President of the United States representing the heart of the nation of citizens who are grateful and humbled by his service and his sacrifice.
Traveling the roadways you may see the flag of our nation and our commonwealth at half-staff. Know this represents the highest salute of our government and it should cause the humble salute of our heart knowing that William F Day, 25 years of age from Hayward, Calif., was laid to rest in Kentucky.
God Bless America and God Bless the commonwealth of Kentucky.