PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- In solemn salute, veterans and community leaders gathered Monday morning at Penn's Landing to mark the 68th anniversary of the Korean War, which claimed millions of lives.
"Sadly, the Korean War was known as 'the forgotten war,' despite such a high number of casualties, deaths, and injuries — and we shouldn't forget it," said Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh, who led the ceremony at the Korean War memorial.
The memorial lists the names of fallen soldiers and includes photos of battle and a timeline of the conflict.
"It was really rough and the first winter was the worst," said veteran Anthony Tomeo of South Philadelphia. "Too many of my friends died for that to happen. It can't be forgotten."
As soldiers remember the past, many are also anxiously looking to the future.
Over the weekend, the United States moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to prepare for North Korea's returning of the remains of American soldiers who have been missing since the war.
The agreement between the U.S. and North Korea came after an historic summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un.
"Today, 68 years later, I'm hoping and praying we can finally bring home some of the remains of your brothers who fought side by side with you but who have never been returned from the battlefield in North Korea," said Judge Patrick Dugan of Philadelphia Veterans Court.
But speaking in Korean, veteran John Lim tells Eyewitness News while he'd like to see that happen, the North Korean regime lies often and it remains to be seen whether they will keep their promise.
But a promise many veterans make sure to keep: return here for the memorial each year and never forget those who served.
"I got a little emotional due to the enormity of the statue and the sacrifices so many people have made," said Tyrone A. Love, who served in Afghanistan and also on the Korean Peninsula.
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