WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s a day to honor and pay respects to those who have served our nation: our veterans.

Special ceremonies and events were held across our region in observance of Veterans Day including one in Wilkes-Barre to honor those who fought in the Korean War often called “The Forgotten War.”

On the South Lawn of the Luzerne County Courthouse, a large monument honors those who served as well as those who gave their lives in the Korean War. Eyewitness News spoke to one of the local heroes of that war.

The veterans and their families are honored at Wilkes University. 18 Korean War veterans, including nine living veterans, received the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal.

It is awarded to those who served in-country in Korea between 1950 and 1953 or served in the United Nations peacekeeping mission until the end of 1955.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey presented the medals. 88-year-old Carl Boos from Pittston was one of the veterans honored.

He was an Airman First Class Air Force gunner. He served on B-29 bombing missions over North Korea. Missions he says he will never forget.

“I flew out of Okinawa all the way up to South Korea, up to North Korea. We attacked munitions and material supplied to South Korea where they were fighting Americans,” stated Boos.

Boos says he often thinks about those he served with so many years ago.

“A lot of guys I served with didn’t come home and they weren’t recognized for anything,” explained Boos.

He says he thinks about the ultimate result of their mission and the sacrifice of so many people.

“Well, it meant that South Korea would be a free nation I flew B-29 on 26 missions I survived them all,” said Boos.

State Senator John Yudichak spoke at the ceremony and hopes the message on this day is heard loud and clear.

“We have to remind the next generation whether they’re college students, high school students, we have to remind them that freedom is not free. It’s been earned by America’s veterans,” stated Yudichak.

It truly was an emotional ceremony, with a lot of tears, lots of smiles, a lot of memories. Nearly 40,000 Americans gave their lives in the Korean War and more than 100,000 more were wounded.