ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Maj. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, served as the guest speaker for a ceremony commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War armistice, here, July 27.
O'Connell talked about the importance of honoring those who went through the hardships of the Korean War.
"Today, at this ceremony, we remember the 'Forgotten War' -- above all, we remember the brave and selfless Americans who fought in Korea and died in Korea -- we remember the names and the sacrifices and service of individuals who must never, ever be forgotten," O'Connell said.
The Korean War resulted in more than 35,000 U.S. Military casualties, 85 of whom were from the Quad Cities area, according to the National Archives. Many veterans of the war live in the Quad Cities.
The Korean War Veterans Association chapter 168 held the event, which included the traditional laying of the wreath on the Korean War Stone in the Rock Island National Cemetery.
Ron Sears, Korean War veteran and president of chapter 168, said he was pleased with the media coverage and with O'Connell's speech. He said that usually the anniversary does not draw much attention.
"Normally we, the chapter, would gather here and we wouldn't even have tents, just lawn chairs. We would have somebody read a little blurb on the war. And of course, we would lay a wreath at the stone and that would basically be it," Sears said.
"This exceeds anything we ever thought about having."
O'Connell said that he wanted to speak at the event because he thinks it is important to connect to the community, and to give thanks to veterans.
"I think it is a very important event in a very patriotic community," he said. "We are supported by the local community here at the arsenal, and we have veterans from virtually every conflict in recent history."
The Vietnam Veterans Chapter 299 provided the color guard, fired a seven-rifle salute, and performed Taps. Rev. William Schlobohm led attendees in opening and closing prayers. John Thodos, the mayor of East Moline, also attended.