Sen. Mike Cierpiot’s Capitol Report for Sept. 30, 2021

Recognizing Our Korean War Veterans

Following in the shadow of World War II, the Korean War is often referred to as the “Forgotten War,” but for the brave individuals who fought in it, this war is anything but forgotten. Between 1950 and 1953, the Korean War called 1.5 million Americans into service, and in the end, over 37,000 Americans gave their lives defending freedom on the Korean Peninsula. Over 900 of those individuals were from Missouri, including more than 100 from the Kansas City region.

To ensure these sacrifices are never forgotten, in 2020, the Missouri General Assembly passed Senate Bill 656, which I sponsored in the Senate. This legislation designates the Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial in downtown Kansas City as Missouri’s official Korean War veterans memorial. The memorial, located in Washington Square Park directly north of Crown Center Hotel, pays tribute to the Missourians lost during the war, as well as South Korean survivors and causalities.

Senator Cierpiot met with Korean War survivor Yong Kim (left), and veterans Al Lemieux (middle) and Paul Rojas (right).

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, I had the opportunity to meet with the memorial’s organizers, Korean War veterans, the governor and several of my fellow lawmakers to celebrate this well-earned designation. While the celebration was originally scheduled for last year, it was delayed due to the pandemic. Still, it is always a great opportunity to honor our service members when we can. Throughout my time working with the memorial’s board of directors, I have been impressed by their dedication to preserving the legacy of past and present Korean War veterans, and I am honored to have played a supporting role in their mission.

No war is fought without sacrifices, and I believe we should always take the time to honor and remember those who served. By designating the Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial as Missouri’s official memorial, I hope more people visit the memorial, learn about the Korean War and ensure the sacrifices of those who fought in America’s “forgotten war” are never truly forgotten.

I am honored to serve the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. If there is anything I can do to serve you, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation for the 2021 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at