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May 27, 2003

Memorial Day

Posted by Mike on May 27, 2003 7:16 AM

I can't spend a Memorial Day without thinking of the year I pulled in Korea. The camp at which I was stationed was settled near Hill 303, site of a grisly war crime involving the mass execution of 26 soldiers at the hands of their N. Korean captors during the Korean War:

"The boys lay packed tightly, shoulder to shoulder, lying on their sides, curled like babies sleeping in the sun. Their feet, bloodied and bare, from walking on the rocks, stuck out stiffly ... All had hands tied behind their backs, some with cord, others with regular issue army communication wire. Only a few of the hands were clenched."

Soldiers assigned to my unit at Camp Carroll heard the story at least once a year, on Memorial Day when the chaplain led the company up the hill for a memorial service.

We haven't had a president, since I've been keeping track of these things, from whom Memorial Day platitudes have seemed anything other than distasteful. Soldiers live and die for each other, and sometimes ideals. When it comes time for our country to take a day to remember the dead, it seems best to keep the politicians out of it. It's a day that deserves to be left alone, free of political posturing.

That said, David Permutter's essay "Why I'm Not A Patriot" seems a fitting Memorial Day sentiment. There are a lot of readings we can apply to the piece, but mine renders it a fitting tribute to the men on Hill 303.


I served at Camp Carroll (C co 307th Signal BN)and went rucking up there to get myself in shape, When you go there you hardly had any idea that a massacare took place up there. The one thing I remember about Hill 303 is how still and quiet it was, you won't hear anything..I didn't know about it until Mr Ryan and Mr Manring came and told us what happened..We should never forget what happened up there. If there was ever a reason why we should be in Korea, one needs to hear about what occured on 17 August 1950 to H Company 5th Cavalry Mortars..they'll understand..

Posted by: Malcolm Robinson at June 3, 2003 6:01 AM

Greetings, I was in A co, 307th Signal from 94-95.. rucked up 303 many a time...

Posted by: NickR at December 9, 2003 1:02 PM