HILO — A memorial has been dedicated to Hawaii Island military members who died during the Korean War, a report said.
The Korean War Memorial was dedicated Saturday in a ceremony at Wailoa State Recreation Area in Hilo, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Sunday.
The memorial honors 52 service members killed in action and five who died of noncombat causes during the conflict.
About 200 people attended the dedication of the memorial held three days prior to the 69th anniversary of the war's outbreak on June 25, 1950.
The memorial was the result of 15 years of planning by the Korean War Veterans Association Big Island Chapter No. 231, officials said.
The memorial, located next to the recreation area's Vietnam War Memorial, was paid for by selling "a helluva lot of candy," said association chapter President Emile Wery.
The "sole purpose" of veterans service organizations is to ensure fallen service members are remembered, he said.
"That's what this is today. The Korean War veterans, on their own, have ensured that they will never be forgotten," Wery said.
Democratic state Rep. Richard Onishi helped the veterans obtain state approvals for the memorial.
"They took on the mission to ensure that no one will ever forget the Korean War and the sacrifices (of) these men from Hawaii Island," Onishi said.
South Korea Consul General to Hawaii Choon-goo Kim, who attended the ceremony, said the state suffered the highest per-capita casualties in the war, which ended with a July 1953 cease-fire.
The South Korean people will "never forget" those sacrifices, he said.