On Saturday, Kentucky State Representatives Jill York and Danny Bentley commemorated the Greenup County Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge by dedicating the bridge at the Greenup War Memorial located on State Route 23 in Kentucky.
Before the guest speaker was introduced, Jim Timberlake, a Korean War veteran himself, said his thanks to all who came out as they officially named the Highway 23 Bridge over the Little Sandy River as the Greenup County Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge. Jim also added, “May the Forgotten War, not be forgot.”
York, who is a representative from Carter and Lawrence counties in Kentucky, was introduced and began by saying it was her honor to have been allowed to have her voice in the course of thanking all who served and fought in Korea.
She then began to introduce the guest speaker, beginning with a note about his background and family.
“Our speaker is a University of Kentucky graduate with a degree in pharmacy, he has his wife Sherry, with him today. I did have him write down the following about the rest of his family, he has two daughters, Micah, who is a flight nurse with Air Evac and Erin Ramey, a regional operations manager USO in Okinawa. His son-in-law is Major Anthony Ramey, a member of the USMC FATeam PILOT 3 along with his grandsons, who are also in Okinawa. I want to thank the State Representative of the 98th District who honored me by allowing me to co-sponsor the legislation that makes this possible today, Danny Bentley.”
“It’s an honor to be here today, as we dedicate the Greenup County Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge,” Bentley said as the ceremony started. “The bridge is a commemoration of those who served and lay down their lives in the forgotten war.”
“ On June 25th, 1950, Communist Korean forces invaded South Korea, sparking a three year conflict of the Forgotten War,” Bentley continued. “Just a few days after the invasion, on June 27th, President Harry Truman ordered ground, air, and naval forces to help defend South Korea and stop the spread of communism. Colonial Douglas MacArthur was assigned as the commander of the United Nations force. During the course of the war, 54,246 were killed, 103,284 were wounded and 8,177 were taken as prisoners of war or reported missing in action. 886 Kentucky military personnel lost their lives in this war. There are still 208 Kentucky bodies that have not been found, recovered or identified and brought home to their families.”
“The Korean War was turned by some as a police action, but it was, in fact, a vicious bloody war for those who served there,” Bentley said. “The Korean War is called the forgotten war. Many of the Korean war veterans of this war, have been forgotten and not received the recognition they deserve.”
Representative Bentley then read the resolution that was passed in the House Assembly in Frankfort.
“Be it resolved that the Commonwealth of Kentucky General Assembly’s Transportation Cabinet should designate the bridge of the United States by legislation that on Highway State Route 23 over the Little Sandy River in the city of Greenup be designated, Greenup County Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge.”
Mr Bentley went on to say that conflict is still relevant today, as he brought up the young man from Ohio that was brought home from North Korea, Otto Warmbier, who died a few days after being returned by North Korea.
“We are here today to honor those Kentuckians that served, died or never came home,” Bentley said. “We thank these men and women for their service and sacrifice and in doing so, we dedicate this Greenup County Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge in their memory. This is so they will never be forgotten. I continue to be grateful for the service of these military men and women. What a privilege to be in the United States. May God continue to and bless our commonwealth and our great nation.”
The dedication was then brought off the stage as the Korean War veterans that were there unveiled the sign that will be placed at the bridge. It was a happy moment, but as this unveiling ended, one could see tears in several of the veterans.