It was an occasion to remember the service of all veterans and the role they have played in the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans. Veterans Day in Peachtree City was observed Nov. 13 as crowds gathered for ceremonies at the Commemorative Air Force hanger at Falcon Field. Speaking at the event on the Korean War was Steve Quesinberry, chair of the Newnan High School Department of History and Social Studies.
Peachtree City’s 2010 Veterans Day remembrance highlighted the Korean War in observance of the 60th anniversary of the start of that war, the first major conflict of the Cold War.
Centering his remarks on that war, Quesinberry gave an overview of the events leading up to the war and some of the human aspects of what has come to be called the “Forgotten War.”
Imagine walking up to an ant hill and kicking it in, Quesinberry said. The resulting flood of ants would be quite similar to the masses of Chinese soldiers that poured into Korea and posed a unique challenge for American troops.
Korea “soon looked more like what (the soldiers’) grandfathers had seen in the trench warfare of World War I,” Quesinberry explained, emphasizing that the many obstacles and the unique nature of the war has been virtually forgotten by so many in America.
And even the Korean peninsula itself posed obstacles for members of the military, Quesinberry said, noting that temperatures sometimes reached 30-40 degrees below zero.
The soldiers in Korea also met another challenge, one that to many people would be considered horrific. It was in Korea, a very small area geographically compared to the vast expanse of the many countries that saw military engagements during Word War II, that immense amounts of artillery rained down on them.
“The soldiers (in Korea) saw more artillery fire than in all of World War II combined,” Quesinberry said.
And through the passing decades the situation in Korea remains unresolved.
“Nobody is taking vacations in North Korea today,” Quesinberry remarked.
Quesinberry is a staunch proponent of involving veterans in his history classes. He started a highly successful program several years ago at Newnan High School called Student-Vet Connect. This program brings veterans to the students outside the classroom. Veterans set up displays of memorabilia and talk to students about it and their experiences.
The event was hosted by the Commemorative Air Force in their hanger at Falcon Field and was conducted by local VFW, American Legion and Marine Corps League veteran groups and the City Recreation Department.
Among those participating at the event were the male a cappella group from Starr’s Mill High School singing the National Anthem.
The event also included honors to the flag, a commemorative wreath will be presented by local veterans groups and the playing of taps in honor of all veterans who have died for their country.