The year 2010 marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.
The war began on June 25, 1950, and although it has never ended, a cease fire -- not an armistice -- was signed July 27, 1953.
There is a beautiful memorial on Fourth and Broad streets, just down from the All Wars Monument that is a tribute to those who served and sacrificed during that time.
More than 54,000 American troops made the ultimate sacrifice. More than 8,000 others are still missing in action, and almost 4,000 experienced the hell of prisoner of war camps. The names of those who served from the CSRA can be found on this monument or recorded on the engraved bricks surrounding it.
Now, can you imagine the age of these once-young warriors of 60 years ago?
I AM ONE OF them, and the ages of the members of Sgt. Harold F. Adkison KWVA Chapter 255 who served during the major hostilities runs from their late 70s to mid-80s. Recently we lost a member who was 92.
It falls to the members of this chapter to maintain the monument and the surrounding grounds. Earlier this year our job had been made more difficult by the theft of one of the lights that illuminated the monument, and somehow during that theft the electric power we used for the leaf blower was damaged. Two members repeatedly endangered their health while sweeping the bricks and the walkway from the All Wars Monument to the Korean War Memorial during days of high temperatures and humidity, always dangerous to the elderly.
It is so difficult also to bend and reach the faucet so we can water the grass and plants, and to pick up the litter that others leave.
WE NEED HELP! It is our hope that some local garden club, church, Junior ROTC unit, Scouts or other interested individuals will want to step forward and volunteer their time and abilities to give this memorial the showcase of kept-up grounds that it deserves.
We know that, for us, we will not be able to keep the area up much longer. Age and infirmities will increase. The city is not responsible for keeping this area up.
Those seriously interested in volunteering their time may reach me at my home phone, (803) 819-9595. We will be grateful for your help.
(The writer is chairman of the Korean War Memorial Committee of the Sgt. Harold F. Adkison Chapter 255 of the Korean War Veterans Association, in North Augusta, S.C.)