SIOUX CITY | Korean War veterans featured in the Journal's series "Korea: Forgotten War Remembered," their friends and family gathered for a Veterans Day ceremony Friday at the Betty Strong Encounter Center.
For many, it was a fitting cap to the series that ran for more than 20 days.
"I thought it was amazing the newspaper did this," said Cmd. Shockey Snyder of the future USS Sioux City, whose crew attended the event as part of their visit to Sioux City. "I know they did it last year for Vietnam veterans, and then they put this together to honor the Korean War veterans. It is amazing."
The more than 20 stories began in October; photographs of the featured veterans are on display at the center until May 28.
The Journal's Tim Gallagher emceed the event and shared stories, introduced the veterans and talked about the lessons he and other reporters learned throughout the process.
"It's very rewarding for me to not only be able to give them this type of necessary exposure, but to learn they are teachers," Gallagher said. "It's a win-win. As a staff, we benefit, readers benefit, and I think -- and hope -- the veterans themselves did, too, by sharing their stories."
"Oh, it was just wonderful," Joyce Dykstra, of Orange City, Iowa, said. Her husband, Henry, was one of the veterans featured. "He said, 'You know what? It is things like this that help.' I told him before we got here, 'Don't be too proud to break down.' You know how men are. He did well, but his eyes were full of tears."
Several of the reporters who wrote the stories were also at the ceremony.
One of the things those reporters were asked to do was record a soundbite of the featured veteran answering the question, "Do you believe it should be called the Forgotten War?" Those audio pieces accompany the online versions of the stories. Most of the veterans rebutted the war's moniker since they fought alongside people who died or were injured, just like any war, and deserved to be remembered.
"The stories that they told says that people in Korea will never forget it, and we can never forget the sacrifice that the men and women showed in that time," Snyder said. "It will never be forgotten."
Continuing the Veterans Day trend, Editor Bruce Miller said the staff would feature female veterans in next year's fall series.
If you or someone you know has a female veteran in mind, please send their contact information to SFrontDoor@siouxcityjournal.com or call (712) 293-4211.