General Colin Powell in Cedar Rapids to unveil Korean War memorial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

General Colin Powell in Cedar Rapids to unveil Korean War memorial

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)-- It was a special day at Veterans Memorial Park in Cedar Rapids.

"Ninety thousand North Korean troops had streamed across the border and were sweeping south.  We and our South Korean allies could only slow them down," said former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

General Powell was in Cedar Rapids to pay tribute to the 507 Iowans who gave the ultimate sacrifice in what is often referred to as the "forgotten war."

"Through memorials such as this, we remind later generations, that we owe so much to these heroes," Powell said.

Hundreds of people were in attendance as the 6 foot tall, black stone memorial was unveiled.

"Unbelievable really.  Ranks up there with anything I've seen," said Raymond Ulrich of Hiawatha.

Ulrich remembers being alongside Robert Van Note, one of the many who did not return from Korea.

"He was a gunner on the tank I was on, got killed," Ulrich said.

Herb Spencer of Anamosa served in the early 1950's and still thinks about the 30 thousand American lives lost.

"I don't know what the North Koreans would have accomplished had they conquered South Korea because then instead of one prosperous part, and one poverty stricken, I would have all been poverty-stricken.

On June 25th, it will have been 60 years since the Korean conflict began.  Many are continuing the memory of those who preserved freedom in South Korea.

"Many people say this is the forgotten war, but what they should have been saying is this is the forgotten victory because of what yOou veterans did, you won peace and freedom," Powell said.

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