Mem­o­ries from the Korean War

Northern Pen - - EDITORIAL -

Today

Slade served in the Korean War for 14 months, from 1952 to 1953. He has re­ceived many medals and cer­tifi­cates for his ser­vice.

A wall in his home is cov­ered with these hon­ours, as well as old pho­to­graphs of him­self and other sol­diers.

Di­rectly be­side a photo of him­self, at the age of 22, is a photo of Don­ald Pen­ney.

Ev­ery year on Re­mem­brance Day, Slade, now 87, lays a wreath at the old me­mo­rial out­side the United Church in St. An­thony to hon­our all those who have fallen.

But he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to get out for Re­mem­brance Day later this week be­cause of health is­sues.

In re­cent years, he has started to re­gret the de­ci­sion to en­list. The hor­rific things he saw and ex­pe­ri­enced have given him PTSD.

“If I had known, I’d have to go through that, I would have never went to Korea,” he told the North­ern Pen.

One in­ci­dent im­pressed upon him was the lit­tle Korean boy with his legs blown off.

But at least now Slade fi­nally knows what hap­pened to him.

Two years ago, he re­ceived a medal from the pres­i­dent of South Korea. In the process, he also learned – through in­for­ma­tion ac­cu­mu­lated by the Canadian am­bas­sador to South Korea – that the boy sur­vived the in­ci­dent and grew up with two ar­ti­fi­cial legs.

He had a good job and had mar­ried but with no chil­dren.

Un­for­tu­nately, he re­cently passed away in 2012, at the age of 64.

Slade never got to con­tact him again, nor did the boy learn about the St. An­thony sol­dier who saved his life.

But all those years in be­tween, Slade never for­got that lit­tle Korean boy and re­mem­bered their brief moment to­gether in his poem, “A tear in my eyes.” See the poem be­low.

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