Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Charles “Chuck” Harvey, who lives on Johnson Road in the Town of Lockport, wishes the Korean War was over.
The 79-year-old Niagara Falls native served on that tortured Asian peninsula 60 years ago as a Marine when a cease fire was agreed to on July 27, 1953. But he keeps another anniversary, too.
The Marine veteran of a “Ghost Battalion” was bloodied in a trench on the 38th parallel eight days before the shelling stopped; 60 years ago today.
Harvey was one of 15 survivors of a battle near what was called the Berlin Outpost.
The “forgotten war” never ended, and July 27 is not celebrated; few people know the significance of the date, according to Harvey. He doesn’t wish for recognition, but instead hopes for unification.
“I would like to see the North Korean people free and the country reunited,” Harvey said. “That would make me happy, but I just can’t see it happening. I’ve got nothing against North Korean people. They have it worse off than anybody.”
After six decades, Korean families are still separated by the DMZ. Since 1953, North Korea has violated the armistice 221 times, according to the Korea Herald. Nerves and sabers are still rattled.
As for the Berlin Outpost, on July 19, 1953, the ground at the 38th parallel beneath Harvey was literally shaking during heavy fighting. The 18-year-old Marine was getting knocked around.
“I was trapped in a bunker and the rounds were never ending. Never ending,” he said. “I thought this is the end of the world. Nothing can be this terrible. Thousands of rounds were coming from everywhere.”
Chinese and North Korean armies joined forces with the support of the Russians in an attempt to overrun the United Nations troops.
A North Korean general vowed to destroy the Third Battalion of the 7th Marines, according to Harvey. The veteran said, “He vowed to annihilate us and he would move with us repeatedly.”