LAYTON -- They call it the "Forgotten War," but on Saturday, veterans of the Korean conflict were remembered all across the nation.
Local veterans of the Korean War gathered at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Layton to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of what is perhaps the United States' most anonymous war -- a matter that has more to do with sheer timing than anything else.
The Layton VFW post was one of hundreds around the nation to broadcast a national ceremony at the Korean War Memorial in Washington. The ceremony honored all those who served in the war, and commemorated the Korean Armistice Agreement signing that ended the hostilities.
Titled, "Heroes Remembered," the ceremony featured a special salute to Korean War veterans, recognition of United Nations allies, a ceremonial wreath laying and a symbolic silencing of the guns both in Washington and Seoul, South Korea.
Edwin Glover, 81, of Ogden, attended the event. He operated Navy troop ships during the Korean War. "I had to call out every name as they got off the boat, and I often thought about how many of those names wouldn't be returning," Glover said.
Korea veteran Hugh Fisher, of Sunset, also came to the event, hosted by Layton VFW Post 8307. He said it's not too often he sees events specifically for Korean War veterans. Hearing President Barack Obama speak about the anniversary was significant to the 83-year-old.
"As the famous saying goes, if you forget the rules and information of history, you are bound to repeat it, and a lot of people don't know or remember what happened in Korea," Fisher said.
Terry Schow, retired director of Utah's Veterans Affairs Department, said Korean War certificates and 60th anniversary commemorative coins are available to veterans of that war from the state Veterans Office.
The conflict from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, has been referred to as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the relative lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, and in relation to the global scale of World War II, which came before it, and the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which came after it.
"Just because of where it was placed in history, it didn't get a lot of notoriety," Schow said. "It was book-ended by two of the most high-profile wars that America has ever had, so unfortunately, it's been sort of brushed to the side by some people."
Schow, a veteran of the Vietnam War, spoke at the Layton event on Saturday.
"The men and women of the Korean War deserve recognition for what they did," Schow said. "It's an amazing thing, but something as little as saying, 'thank you' can go a long way to validate what they did."
More than 36,500 American soldiers died during the war while more than 103,000 were wounded. Nearly 8,000 were declared missing in action and 4,700 were taken as prisoners of war.
Vietnam veteran Dennis Howland helped organize the Layton event and said that, much like the World War II veterans who preceded them, Korean War veterans won't be around for too much longer.
"The average age of a Korean War veteran is 81 years old," he said. "Now, more than ever, is a time to not only remember, but honor and celebrate these veterans and their families who served and sacrificed for our country."
The Department of Defense recognizes that the Korean War was a significant event during the Cold War, a fact that has become even more apparent over time with the emergence of the Republic of Korea as a great power and U.S. ally.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that in remembering the end of the Korean War, it's also important to commemorate the beginning of a new era in the history of the region.
Hagel said the United States remains committed to ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and has more than 28,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving in Korea today.
Standard-Examiner correspondent Dana Rimington contributed to this story.