Jul 24, 2010 7:51 PM by Matt Stafford

Springs vets worried about Korean conflicts 57 years after war

Another year goes by for Korean War vets in Colorado Springs, 60 of them have passed since the war began.

"I was only 17," says Robert Roper, remembering when he got involved in the conflict as a young Marine.

Even this long after the war, some of those memories feel like yesterday.

"Oh sure, especially when you get around these guys and start talking about it." Roper says. "There are some real heroes here."

Saturday's ceremony at Memorial Park celebrates the 57th anniversary of the cease-fire that the Korean War generation fought for, but recent stand-offs between North and South Korea have put those achievements in jeopardy again.

North Korean leaders have gone as far as to threaten nuclear attacks on South Korea. Leaders are stepping in, but veterans back in the Springs worry about all they worked for coming undone.

"We're fearful that it won't carry on," Roper says.

Saturday, like every year, they come pay tribute to one another and the fallen, trying to get away from this conflict's moniker -- America's forgotten war.

"For Americans it's a forgotten war, but for Koreans we have not forgotten," says Young Choi, a South Korean-American who has been in America for nearly 20 years.

Choi's parents were alive for the war, and they taught him to remember its importance for their country. It's something he's now passing on to his kids.

Even while tension is high in his parent's country, Choi is not worried.

"We're not concerned, yeah I've been watching and I've been reading the news over it," Choi explains. He says it just more of the same for the North Koreans, but their threats need to stop.

Choi would like to see the two nations joined together again, but isn't sure it will happen.

Many of the American vets, like Roper, have hoped for unification since they left the war.

"We're just hopeful that it will get resolved," Roper says. "It's certainly too long to have a cease fire, we need a peace treaty."

However, as long as they've waited, they aren't sure if they'll ever see it.



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