TAMPA (FOX 13) - It was a day of reflection as well as a celebration of the respect between two countries.
Saturday afternoon at the Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park, the community was invited to remember the start of the Korean War.
“Today was about celebrating our unity between South Korea and our Korean war brothers in arms,” said one of the organizers, Charles Travers.
On June 25, 1950, South Korea was invaded by the north.
Il Koon Chang, who grew up in the south, says the US's involvement was like an angel sent from God.
“We still remember,” Chang said. “For us, for our children, as a history. We are thankful and appreciative.”
Purple Heart recipient says he Murdoch Ford lied about his age to join the Marines in 1950. Murdoch couldn’t even drive a car, but he learned to drive tanks for the war effort.
“There was five of us to a tank, and we became just like real brothers,” Ford said.
He says events like these protect the history of what some call the “forgotten war.”
“It keeps reminding people that there was a war, and 36,000 people lost their lives, and over 100,000 who were injured,” he said.
Nearly 7,800 US troops who fought in the Korean War, more than 5,000 in North Korea, remain unaccounted for.
But cooling tensions between the US and Kim Jung Un give some of the men at the event hope that those remains will be recovered and returned to their families.
“If they can truly find a way to make this a commitment, maybe we can’t get them all, but I by God hope so,” said Travers.
For Chang, the Singapore summit signals an optimistic future for Koreans and Americans.
“I think that is I think opening the gate for the better life,” he said.