Pendleton honors Korean War veterans
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Pacific Views Events Center here, Sept. 12, to commemorate the 64th Anniversary of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
After the ceremony, Korean War Veterans and their family members with the Col. William E. Barber Chosin Few Chapter of Orange County paid their respects at a monument, which was constructed five years ago through donations.
The story of the “Frozen Chosin” and their bravery against overwhelming odds is a staple of Marine Corps history, alongside other stories such as Tripoli, Belleau Wood and Iwo Jima. It is taught to Marines during boot camp to this day.
“We were at the Chosin Reservoir and we were surrounded by ten Chinese divisions,” said Robert Licker, national president of the Chosin Few. “It was minus 40 degrees and we had to fight a long 70 miles through mountainous terrain to break out. This is a monument to those that died so that we could be here today.”
“The Chosin Few have continued to be the driving force for Marines many years after the battle of Inchon during that freezing November and December,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Ramona D. Cook, protocol officer here. “Today’s Marines continue to serve this great nation faithfully, and their legacy is what drives them to continue to do so.”
Units from all over Camp Pendleton took part in the ceremony. Marine Corps Base Security marched and retired the colors, the 1st Marine Division Band provided music and the I Expeditionary Force conducted a 21 gun salute.
“Our history is something Marines can look up to, but what we did was not much different from what the Marines today are doing,” said Licker. “In fact, today’s Marines are better trained, better equipped and better qualified. They are very talented and are doing great things for our country.”