Quite a few blogs and news opinionators lately have been making comments about the increased tensions in the Korean peninsula, and the possible ramifications of The United States and South Korea engaging in another war with North Korea.
Wait a minute.....ANOTHER War? With North Korea?
Um....HELLO! We never finished the CURRENT war with North Korea! You know? The one that we started fighting back in the 1950s? The one that NEVER ENDED?
Yeah sure, there was a cease-fire, but there was never a formal peace agreement, nor a declaration of peace and neither side surrendered.
There is a fence separating North and South Korea and we have troops pointing guns at it and they have troops pointing guns at it. When troops point guns at each other, even without firing, they are at war people!
While I agree that RESUMING armed conflict with North Korea would be a bad thing for the U.S. in it's current ecenomic state and the fact that We're still screwing around in Afghanistan (and that North Korea is a nuclear power who is crazy enough to use it's nukes), I just wish the people talking about this would get the simple fact straight that we are officially (if not technically, at the moment) already, presently and currently at war with North Korea.
10 November celebrated the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. For many past and present Marines around the world it was celebrated with ceremonies, formal balls or possibly just getting together with old buddies at teh local VFW.
For me, it was celebrated simply with a "Happy Birthday" email to my Human Resources manager, who also is a former Marine with a copy of this year's Birthday Message from the current Commandant, General James Amos.
While the message contained the usual words of motivational speech and references to the Corp's illustrious history, as well as pride in our Marine's performance in more recent and current actions (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) it also not-too-subtly pointed to a arguably worsening situation that is always in the back of our Marine's gray-matter...Korea.
General Amos dominated his message with a historical overview of Marines serving in the Korean conflict while refraining from pointing out that while there is still an active cease-fire, there was never an actual peace agreement and that hostilities could resume at any given time between our two countries. I have pasted the full text of the Commandant's message below.
11 November celebrates and remembers all our Veterans, past and present, from all the branches of the armed forces, 2 of which I had the honor of serving in, the Marines and the Army Reserve (with a two year stint in the Indiana Army National Guard in between).
A friend posted on her Facebook wall her anger at people who would not take a few minutes to sign a Veterans appreciation banner at her local mall. I felt compelled to reply as such to her:
"While signs of appreciation are always welcome and appreciated, we Veterans neither expect, nor demand them. Just as we served voluntarily (at least since the end of the Vietnam conflict), we understand that thanks should be given voluntarily and without coercion.
That said...Thank you. "
And for all those who do say "Thank you", please allow me on behalf of all Veterans say, "You're welcome, and thank you. It was an honor to serve you".
To all Marines, Happy Birthday and Semper Fi!
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE - 10 NOVEMBER 2010
Date Signed: 11/2/2010
ALMAR Active Number: 041/10
R 021634Z NOV 10
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
SUBJ/UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE - 10 NOVEMBER 2010//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. SIXTY YEARS AGO, THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS - AS IT HAS THROUGHOUT OUR HISTORY - DEMONSTRATED ITS VITAL ROLE AS AMERICA'S EXPEDITIONARY FORCE IN READINESS. JUST WEEKS AFTER NORTH KOREAN COMMUNIST FORCES CROSSED THE 38TH PARALLEL, THE FIRST MARINE PROVISIONAL BRIGADE LANDED IN SOUTH KOREA, FORMING THE BACKBONE OF THE PERIMETER AROUND THE CITY OF PUSAN. THE EFFORTS OF THE "FIRE BRIGADE" AT PUSAN ALLOWED FOR THE DARING AMPHIBIOUS LANDING AT INCHON AND SET THE STAGE FOR ONE OF THE MOST SAVAGE CAMPAIGNS IN OUR CORPS' HISTORY - THE CHOSIN RESERVOIR. AS WE PAUSE TO CELEBRATE OUR 235TH BIRTHDAY, WE PAY SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO THE MARINES OF THE KOREAN WAR AND RECOGNIZE THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR ENDURING LEGACY.
2. THIS PAST YEAR MARKED THE END OF MARINE CORPS COMBAT OPERATIONS IN IRAQ. BEGINNING WITH THE INVASION IN MARCH 2003 AND THROUGH THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS OF FIGHTING, OUR CORPS ACQUITTED ITSELF VALIANTLY IN THE ANBAR PROVINCE AND THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. LOCATIONS SUCH AS FALLUJAH AND RAMADI HAVE TAKEN THEIR PLACE IN THE ILLUSTRIOUS BATTLE HISTORY OF OUR CORPS. OUR EFFORTS IN DEFEATING THE INSURGENCY HELPED TO BUILD A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR ALL IRAQIS.
3. FOR 235 YEARS, AT SEA AND ASHORE, MARINES HAVE SUCCEEDED IN EVERY CLIME AND PLACE ... WHERE HARDSHIP AND ADVERSITY HAVE OFTEN BEEN THE COMMON THREAD. TODAY, IN THE RUGGED MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS OF AFGHANISTAN - AND RECENTLY IN EARTHQUAKE-DAMAGED HAITI ... IN FLOOD-RAVAGED PAKISTAN ... OR OFF THE COAST OF AFRICA - WE CONTINUE TO PROTECT OUR NATION, JUST AS WE DID 60 YEARS AGO IN KOREA.
4. TO THE MARINES AND SAILORS DEPLOYED OVERSEAS, TO THOSE TRAINING AND PREPARING FOR THEIR NEXT DEPLOYMENT AND TO THE WARRIORS WHO NO LONGER WEAR OUR UNIFORM ... WE HONOR YOUR SELFLESS SERVICE TO THE NATION. TO OUR LOVED ONES WHO ENDURE THE MANY DIFFICULTIES THAT COME WITH BEING PART OF THE MARINE FAMILY, I WANT TO EXTEND MY SINCEREST THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE AND ALL YOU CONTINUE TO DO.
5. HAPPY 235TH BIRTHDAY, MARINES. JAMES F. AMOS, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.//