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Local Veterans And Korean-Americans Hope For End To Korean War

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) -- A ceremony honoring Korean War veterans was held at the Korean War Memorial in Roseville Sunday. Nearly two dozen veterans and their families were in attendance.

After historic talks between North and South Korean leaders, veterans and Korean Americans in attendance say they're optimistic that the decades-long war may finally be coming to an official end.

A wreath-laying ceremony during the event bringing back a flood of emotions for Korean War veterans like Wiley Jay.

ALSO: North Korea, South Korea Take Steps Toward Ending Long Simmering Korean War

"The camaraderie of all of my friends and buddies. We deployed with the first provisional marine brigade in July of 1950, I started June 26th," Jay said.

Jay is hopeful that now after more than 60 years, what's known as "the forgotten war" may soon be coming to an official end.

"Well, I hope it happens, you know, and it's denuclearized. I think it's great," he said.

Jay's optimism for peace shared by Sacramento Valley Korean American Association leaders like Peter Park.

"Even thinking about it now gives me butterflies, yes," Park said.

Park says he was glued to the television as North and South Korean leaders Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-In crossed the 38th parallel in a historic display of unity Friday, pledging to end the war.

"This is a dream by so many elderly here who sacrificed themselves for the Korean War this is truly meaningful for them," Park said.

ALSO: North Korea To Close Nuke Test Site In May

Event organizer Hannah Kim says she's "guardedly optimistic" about lasting peace. The opening of North Korea may provide a sliver of hope for the still 8,000 prisoners of war and missing in action, she says.

"That these families may know or learn about their loved me hope," Kim said.

Some veterans here giving President Trump a share of the credit.

"I do," Jay said. "I really do."

"Make the peace work," Park said. "If he can do that, we will be glad."

Park said the recent events in North Korea remind his people of the fall of the Berlin Wall between East and West Germany. They hope to one day soon be able to walk freely between North and South Korea.

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