Recalling the Korean War
Social studies teacher Tom Glosek is trying to do something about that gap in his elective history classes at Cameron County High School. To help, he recently turned to an invaluable resource – a literal eyewitness to history.
Emporium’s Ken Ostrum was a special guest lecturer at a recent class, discussing his experiences after he was called into service some 60 years ago.
The Korean War was a war between the Republic of Korea (supported primarily by the United States of America, with contributions from allied nations under the aegis of the United Nations) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (supported by the People’s Republic of China, with military and material aid from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
After World War II, the North established a communist government, while the South established a capitalist one. Tension intensifi ed and escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea in June 1950.
The U.S. provided almost 90 percent of the 341,000 international soldiers who aided South Korean forces in repelling the invasion. The active stage of the war ended in July 1953, when an armistice agreement restored the border and created a demilitarized zone.
Ostrum shared his experiences as a member of the Korean Military Advisory Group (1952-54), the organization responsible for the training of the Republic of Korea Army and helping to build of schools and orphanages.
He concluded his presentation by airing a recorded message from the President of South Korea, thanking the U.S. for its role in bringing the war to an end and the 60 years of commitment and friendship that have ensued.