Today, North Korea followed through on its promise to begin returning the remains of US soldiers who died during the Korean War.
It’s a war that never officially ended.
As such, July 27th is known as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.
KATC’s Mike Carter spoke to a Lafayette veteran of the Korean War who’s happy to see his fellow soldiers coming home.
Retired US Army Sgt. Lee Allen Simon lived in a home in Lafayette with his wife Ramona for nearly 60 years. Though he still owns the place, he chooses not to live here anymore. For him, some memories are just too painful.
"And in fact my wife died a few years back and I decided I can’t live here anymore," Simon said.
Simon met his wife Ramona shortly after being discharged from the the Army, where he was a sergeant during the Korean War.
"Learned to fire every weapon you could imagine. You know learning different kinds of things, and developing character as you went along," Simon explained.
While Simon spent most of his time deployed in Germany during the tail end of the Korean War, he’s happy to know that the remains of many of the men and women he served alongside during that time are being brought home.
"I think the president, you know, no matter what party you’re from you need to give him at least that much understanding that he has worked hard and in fact got results," Simon said.
Simon says to be able to visit a loved ones remains is crucial for a family. The same way it was crucial for him and his family to be able to visit his brother’s remains in Normandy France after World War II.
"Tremendous emotions. Even as an 18 or 19-year-old. I know I loved him and I know he loved me as his little brother," said Simon.
Simon says he may not come back to this home very much anymore, but the fact that he can is meaningful. Just as he hopes the return of loved ones remains will be meaningful to the families of the fallen.
"Their return would mean that more families would get the same satisfaction. They would get a sort of closure on this. And to me, that would be the bottom line. At least we got a number of them coming back home," he said.