Posted on: Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Korean War medallion theft an insult to veterans living and dead
Galveston County Daily News Editorial
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Last week, The Daily News reported police were searching for two people accused of stealing part of the Korean War Memorial in downtown Galveston. As a community, we should be appalled.


Whoever is finally arrested and convicted of the theft is guilty of more than vandalism, but also casting a hurtful action toward all U.S. veterans.


And to steal from a memorial dedicated to and bearing the names of 51 men from Galveston County who served and died during the Korean War is unconscionable.


The memorial was unveiled May 27 and was designed with the help of Marine Corps veteran Doug McLeod. The reflective memorial wall is made of polished black granite and features names of people from Galveston County or who lived in the area at the time.


Why someone would deface a monument dedicated to those who served our nation is beyond most ordinary people’s understanding.


The Korean War rarely gets its due in history. For a long time, the conflict was officially considered a police action by the United Nations. But the reality was nothing short of war for the men and women on the battlefield. Bullets flew, bombs dropped and people died.


And in the end, the powers that be called it a draw — denying those who served the rightful claim to be considered equal with those who fought in similar conditions.


The Korean War was fought from 1950 to 1953, as the United States and South Korea fought North Korea and China in a conflict framed as a battle between capitalism and communism.


Nearly 5 million people died in the Korean War, hardly a skirmish by any definition of the word. America lost more than 33,000 soldiers, and more than 100,000 were wounded. Again, a significant number by any count.


Today, roughly 1 million Korean War veterans live and walk among us. And as we do any service veteran, we owe them our respect and thanks.


If anything good can come from this unfortunate chapter, let’s use this opportunity to remember and thank those who served in the Korean War. And while most veterans are modest about their service, let’s ensure they know we appreciate their sacrifices whenever the opportunity presents itself.


And if you have yet to visit the memorial in the 300 block of 20th Street, next to the American National Insurance Co. tower, we strongly encourage you to do so.


As for the missing medallion, detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the people seen in a security video.


The man photographed wore sunglasses, a black button-up shirt and blue jeans. The woman was wearing a black hoodie over a T-shirt and jean shorts.


Anybody with information on the case is asked to call Galveston Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 409-765-3762.


On behalf of The Daily News, we thank all who served in Korea and others who have done so under our flag. God bless you all.


• Leonard Woolsey


Editor’s note: Leonard Woolsey’s late father, Essel Leon Woolsey, served in the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War.

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