Edmonds Community College — in partnership with the City of Lynnwood, the Korean Consulate General and the Lynnwood Korean Sister City Association — will host a Veterans Day Celebration from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, on campus in the Black Box Theatre.
Edmonds CC welcomes students staff and faculty — as well as veterans from surrounding communities who served during times of war and peace — to the celebration. The public is also invited to attend this free celebration.
“Veterans Day is a time to celebrate the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have worn the uniform of our armed services and put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf,” said Chris Szarek, director of the Edmonds CC Veterans Resource Center and retired U.S. Navy Seabee.
This year’s event will honor Korean War veterans from the community, each of whom will receive an award from the South Korean Consulate General, Moon Duk-Ho.
“This year our campus has a unique opportunity to honor veterans of the Korean War, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s,” Szarek said. “Our campus chose to honor Korean War veterans as a way of ensuring that the brave men and women who served there know their service is appreciated, while also providing an excellent opportunity to educate our students and ourselves about an often forgotten conflict that played a key role in the shaping of our history.”
Szarek said the Edmonds CC campus served as an active military base during the Korean War, which is often referred to as “The Forgotten War.”
While veterans of WWII and Vietnam have received well-deserved recognition, those of the Korean War have not garnered as much attention, he said, despite their service under harsh conditions and the loss of 178,426 soldiers, 566,434 wounded and an estimated 32,925 missing.
The Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953, although historians can trace the foundation for the war back to as early as 1945. The war ended in an armistice in July 1953, and a demilitarized zone was established and continues to be jointly patrolled.
“Although America’s involvement in foreign conflicts has faded from the headlines, the men and women of our armed services continue to serve 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, both in our state and abroad,” Szarek said. “It’s important that our society honors their service one day out of the year, whether it means attending a ceremony, thanking a veteran, or simply reflecting on the freedom we enjoy and the people who stand ready to protect it.”
Guest speakers will include Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith, whose father and father-in-law both served in Korea, as well as the South Korean Consulate General and Edmonds CC President Dr. Jean Hernandez.
The ceremony will feature musical performances and a presentation by Edmonds CC staff and faculty who served. Refreshments, sponsored by the Korean Sister City Association, will be provided after the event.
The Black Box Theatre is in Mukilteo Hall on the Edmonds Community College campus at 20000 68th Ave. W., Lynnwood. For directions and a campus map, go to edcc.edu/campus.
Edmonds CC has been designated as a military friendly school for three years. The college is also home to the Veterans Resource Center that serves the needs of over 200 veterans and their family members attending Edmonds CC by providing Veterans Affairs counseling and certification, an on-site mental health professional, career counseling, and an inviting place to meet other veterans.
The center is funded by the Edmonds CC Foundation’s Boots to Books and Beyond Campaign.