Korean War veterans to be honored at Shelton ceremony

The Korean War veterans monument at the Riverwalk in downtown Shelton.
The Korean War veterans monument at the Riverwalk in downtown Shelton.

More than 200 Korean War veterans from the Valley, including Shelton, are eligible to be recognized during a ceremony Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at the Sutter-Terlizzi American Legion Post No. 16 in Shelton.

At the event, local veterans who have completed the necessary registration forms will receive an official certificate of appreciation signed by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The certificates are part of a three-year program to honor Korean War veterans on the war’s 60th anniversary. The certificate recognition program will end July 27.

Local officials to be present

Veterans from Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Oxford and Seymour will be given their certificates during the ceremony. Mayors and first selectmen from the five communities have been invited to attend and participate in distributing the certificates.

Light refreshments will be served at the event. Registered veterans who cannot attend that evening may pick up their certificates at the American Legion post serving their community at a later date.

Role in defeating communism

“As we honor our valued and treasured veterans of ‘The Forgotten War’ during this period, let us remember the impact their sacrifices made at the 38th Parallel was the cornerstone of the fight to defeat communism,” event organizers said in a release.

The Defense Department has recognized veteran Alphonse Sabetta of Shelton as a local Korean War-60th anniversary (KW60) ambassador. He can be reached at 203-924-0898.

How to register for a certificate

Any veteran who has not registered and would like to receive a certificate may write to:

—Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee

2530 Crystal Drive, Suite 1400

Arlington, VA  22202

DOD phone: 703-545-0011

DOD website: koreanwar.defense.gov

About the Korean War

The war between South Korea and North Korea lasted from 1950 to 1953. The United Nations and United States, along with its allies, supported pro-Western South Korea while China backed the communist North Korea.

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution authorizing military force to defend South Korea after North Korea invaded. The resolution only passed after the Soviet Union boycotted the U.N. session due to a separate issue having to do with China.

The 38th Parallel is roughly where the two nations now are divided, with a 2.5-mile-wide buffer zone separating them.

About 33,700 Americans lost their lives fighting in the war, with 5.7 million U.S. soldiers being sent to Korea during the course of the conflict. The Korean War officially ended on July 27, 1953.