- The Washington Times - Friday, June 23, 2000

Veterans of "the forgotten war" in Korea gathered Thursday night to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of hostilities the actual anniversary falls on Sunday and watch a restored version of the movie "Inchon."
The full-length Korean War film, which starred the late Laurence Olivier as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, was first released in 1982.
More than 200 persons crowded into the Hyatt Regency Washington's Ticonderoga Room for the screening, which was sponsored by GoodLife TV Network and The Washington Times Foundation.
Some veterans arrived in the regalia of their old regiments. Others looked sharp in blue blazers and summer suits. The conversation was spirited, with references to the recent Pyongyang summit and talk of a unified Korea.
All listened intently as Rep. Floyd D. Spence, South Carolina Republican and Korean War veteran, spoke about the often misunderstood conflict.
"They call it the 'forgotten war,'" said Mr. Spence, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. "The reason our leadership forgot the war was that they didn't prepare us for it."
The war's ramifications should never be discounted, he told the veterans. "You have made the [South] Korean people a free people, and your work goes on," he said.
Mr. Spence, who three weeks earlier had received a kidney transplant from his son, appeared fit and drew a vigorous ovation.
Also sighted in the crowd were Rep. Howard Coble, North Carolina Republican, and former Reps. Don Ritter and Gerald Solomon.
Korean War veteran Steve Chorey, who served in the Army for 24 years, recalled his adventures across the embattled peninsula.
"I took out 10 truck convoys every day," said Mr. Chorey, who also participated in the dramatic landing at Inchon that, for a few weeks, turned the tide of war. The tide turned again when Communist China sent hundreds of thousands of troops into the conflict.
Nick Tisak, who was wounded during the initial outbreak of the war and later returned for nine months, remembered slipping behind enemy lines only to find himself trapped.
"We had … a time getting out of there," he said.
The Korean War often has been overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War, closely following the world war and preceding the war in Vietnam. Many veterans agreed that may be changing, however.
"We're getting a lot more attention now," Mr. Tisak said.
More than 33,000 Americans died in the war, and almost 3 million war veterans are still living. The United States has 37,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea now.
"Inchon," the 1982 film that recounts the landing of U.N. troops at the eponymous South Korean port, grew from 140 to 218 minutes after previously edited material from 590 reels was restored, according to network president Squire D. Rushnell.

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