Monday, November 16, 2015

Heroes of the Korean War, Sunday, November 15, 2pm

Moderated by Mr. Jin Lee, the program featured 4 presentations, as American veterans, Lou Krueger and Jerry Field, and  one Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) veteran all spoke before Dr.Bonnie C. Oh, a professor of Korean Studies, explained that the forgotten soldiers of "the Forgotten War" are often the soldiers in the Republic of Korea army who fought bravely at the Pusan Perimeter and Inchon Landing.36,516 American died in the Korean conflict. American soldiers earned 131 Congressional Medals of Honor as 8 went to soldiers form Illinois. Today there are 37,000 American troops near the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone).  The ROKA army lost 447,697 soldiers in combat.Total United Nations casualties among the 22 nations participating exceeded 628,000.

Display case in 1st Floor Commons of Niles Public Library is devoted to
 Remembering the Korean War Exhibition during November. The extensive exhibition,
 mounted by Jin Lee from his own collection, 
continues in the 3rd Floor  Franklin Gallery. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bathed In Light, Niles VFW 7712 Memorial Day Observance at Memorial Waterfall.

Presiding VFW Post Commander Tom Amarante, addresses the assembled, including veterans and local dignitaries,  as Post Chaplain, Chris Hanusiak, looks on at 11am. Tom sought to highlight the plight of returning veterans plagued by the high  incidence of suicides. The ratio of those suicides to battlefield deaths since 1999 is worse than 2  1/2  : 1!

Remembering the Korean War, a 65th Anniversary Exhibition, Sunday, November 8

Mr. Jin Lee of the Keumsil Cultural Society joined with the Veterans History Project  of the Niles Public Library to mount a handsome and extensive exhibition of memorabilia from his personal collection. The photographs, badges, news clippings, maps, photographs and other items can be viewed through November 30 in the 1st Floor Display Case in the library's Commons and upstairs in the 3rd Floor Franklin Gallery where the picture below was taken.
After the ribbon-cutting, Niles Village Trustee George Alpogianis, State Representative  John D'Amico, Mayor Andrew Przybylo, State Representative Laura Fine, Library Director Susan Lempke, Korean Consul General Sang-Il  Kim, and Jin Lee, Maine Township Township High School District 207 Board member, stand from left to right before the portrait of General Douglas MacArthur. The 5-star general planned the brilliant amphibious landing at Inchon on September 15, 1950 that would change the course of the war. The Korean War lasted from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953, concluding with an uneasy Armistice and the fixing of the 38th Parallel as the dividing line between North and South Korea. American troops continue to serve in the DMZ, the demilitarized zone.

9th Veterans History Project Breakfast at Niles Public Library, Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Seated in the front row from left to right are Bill Shipp, Martha Shipp, Celine Tymczuk, representing her late husband Wally, and Bernard Warchol. Sitting in the second row from left to right are Charles Matz, Bernice Torchedlo, Judith Carlson, representing her late father Norman Berkman, Irv Abramson, Bette Horstman, who also represents her late husband Henry, Matthew Wojtaszek, Jack Weinberg, Tom Vana, Dick Vana, and Art Shapiro. In the third row seated from left to right are David Besser, Ken Radnitzer, Gary Warner, Ken Lee, Joseph Matus, Harry Webber, Mort Elenbogen, Marvin Weiner, and John O’Malley. Standing in the back row are Rich Hyland, Chuck Jacobs, Frank Ziegler, Dr. Jerry Levin, Russell Zapel, John Bugajsky, Milton Langer and Mike McNulty. Veterans Albert Dominick and Max Kolpas also attended but do not appear in the group picture.

 Library Director, Susan Lempke, welcomed the veterans, their families and the community to the annual event.Veteran Chris Hanusiak, President of the Friends, announced a donation of $500 to  Honor Flight Chicago and led the Pledge of Allegiance before the Roll Call. Inspired by their special guests, the effective teamwork of the Niles staff ensured a tasty breakfast was served with efficiency and charm. The Legacy Girls as the Andrew Sisters again topped off the breakfast with a musical salute to the community's heroes, saving "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" for a crowd-pleasing winning finale.

The transcripts of the oral interviews of these veterans can be read and heard via the Niles Public Library  website.