As a way to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the hostilities in the Korean War, Southington’s American Legion Post 72 worked in concert with the Town of Southington to come up with the names of all current or former residents of Southington, and surrounding towns, who served in the three year Korean conflict.
As part of Southington’s veteran’s day celebration Monday, there was a reading of a letter of appreciation from the South Korean government.
“Thanks to the service and sacrifice of the veterans and families of the Korean War, South Korea now stands as one of the most vibrant economic and thriving democracies in the world,” read John DeMello, for American Legion Post Commander for Post 72.
Among the Korean War veterans present, Southington’s Lloyd Sherwood said he realized the impact he and others had on South Korea while visiting on the 50th anniversary of the conflict.
“There was a busload of people that came by, saw us and they stopped and they come out and they started shaking our hands and thanking us for what we did. It was really amazing,” recalled Sherwood.
And, for what they did, in liberating that nation, DeMello felt the 60th anniversary of the 3 year conflict was the perfect time to recognize these veterans. With the assistance of the Southington assessor’s office, and records from Post 72, an impressive list of names of Korean War veterans from the Southington area was compiled.
“We have probably about 643 that we actually filed for the certificate of appreciation,” said DeMello.
In addition to Sergeant 1st Class Sherwood, Gunnery Marine Sergeant Edison Occhi, of Berlin, was among those receiving their certificate of appreciation today.
“It’s the way of our country. They take a long time to build these monuments for men that served and things like that, to give them some kind of recognition, “said Occhi.