Korean War memorial planned for Lakewalk
The year 2000 marks the 50th anniversary of the day "B" Company of the 4th infantry battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve marched down Superior Street to the Depot and went off to the Korean War. This is also the year that Korean veterans wi...
The year 2000 marks the 50th anniversary of the day "B" Company of the 4th infantry battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve marched down Superior Street to the Depot and went off to the Korean War. This is also the year that Korean veterans will finally see a memorial honoring them erected on Duluth's Lakewalk.
A granite monument, bearing the names of "B" Company members, will be placed on the Lakewalk near the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. The exact location hasn't been determined yet, but Mayor Gary Doty has promised that when the memorial is completed, a spot will be made for it.
The granite monument will be 8 feet high, 10 feet wide and 2 feet thick. Bob Pearson, who is organizing a reunion for all "B" Company members this summer, said, "It will list "B" Company 4th Infantry Battalion, our 10 KIA's (killed in action), the rest of "B" Company, and at the bottom it would say 'and all other Korean veterans.'"
It's a recognition that's a long time coming, said Pearson. "We never had the flags and drum and bugle corps like the rest of them had," Pearson said. "We never had the recognition. We have POWs. We have MIAs. There are guys who never came back here. Where are they? I just think we deserve the same recognition as the rest."
"B" Company members were all from this area: Duluth, Superior, Cloquet and Iron Range cities. Most of the work and the materials for the $30,000 monument are being donated, and the "B" Company members are setting up a trust fund to pay for ongoing maintenance.
About 25 "B" Company members are already registered for the reunion. There are 128 members still living, and those who can make it get together every five years." It's just fun to get together, sit down, reminisce, talk about old times and reflect," Pearson said. "We were all very close."
Among the highlights of this year's reunion will be guest speaker General Raymond Davis, USMCR medal of honor winner. "He was also the commander of most of these guys over there at that time," Pearson said.
Today, most of the members of "B" Company are in their 70s. A few are in their late 60s and a few more in their early 80s. In these advancing years, these reunions are all the more special for folks like Pearson. "The thing is to just keep in touch," he said. "We were a very close unit."