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Hoping dialog with North Korea will lead to recovery of MIA remains

The Korean War was the Forgotten War, fought from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953.

On July 27, 1953, the fighting in Korea ended. Sixty-five years ago. I was a sergeant stationed with the 5th AF at Kimpo Air Base, not far from the 38th parallel. Shortly thereafter, I was assigned to a detachment to interview and process repatriated American POWs. It was labeled "Operation Big Switch." The exchanged prisoners came through Freedom Village and were flown by choppers to a compound outside of Inchon. The same was true with the Red Chinese and North Korean captives going the other way.

The swap was set up to end after 60 days. The enemy played the game of toying with the United Nations forces. A few released some days, none for several days and many prisoners at other times.

A repatriated enlisted man gave me a small scrap of paper upon which he had painstakingly printed the names of 20-some prisoners that he knew were alive days prior to being released. When it was turned over to the Intelligence Division, he gambled that he would not be found out prior to his freedom. They lived under very brutal conditions.

I congratulate our president for opening a dialogue with the North. Hopefully, we will receive the remains of many killed in combat or dying while prisoners, as there never was an official closure to this war.

In remembrance of our MIA's and former prisoners, "God Bless you!"

Roy Vogel

Bella Vista

Patriot Parade kudos

Major kudos and thanks to Jim Parsons for all his work on the Patriot Parade on July 4. He has done an excellent job in expanding it every year, but this year's parade was an exceptional event and patriotic tribute. I would vote the Bella Vista Recycling Center entry as the best in show (yes, I do volunteer there and that may have had a slight influence on my vote). Thank you, Jim.

Paul Poulides

Bella Vista

We need hotel, restaurants

I watched our local, all volunteer, television station recently. The feature was The Mayor's Rap. It grabbed my attention for a full hour and I loved it. Mayor Peter Christie, as usual, was informative and humorous. It was a discussion about the intricate, beautiful and challenging trail system currently under construction in Bella Vista. The completed portion is attracting people from as far away as Canada.

The Trail Master, Erin Rushing, a professional trail designer and engineer with a group called Trailblazers, presented detailed information on the new trail design for central Bella Vista. The eastern third of Bella Vista is essentially completed and they expect to break ground on the central third this year. The building of the trails is through the generosity of the Walton Foundation, and maintenance costs are shared between the city and the POA (another example of positive collaboration between these governing groups).

Mayor Christie is definitely bringing our little city into the big time. After the show concluded, my thinking continued. First, I was absolutely amazed at the high-quality production by local TV. There was nothing amateurish about the technical quality of the taping. Further, this trail system shows signs of becoming a prime Bella Vista attraction. Bikers are coming now and, as trails are completed, the numbers will increase. Combine those numbers with those for other attractions and we have some major questions. Where will we house them? Feed them? Bella Vista badly needs a fine hotel.

It is my understanding that Cooper Communities owns all of the land for future commercial growth. It must surely see the tremendous commercial opportunities ahead for more restaurants and a hotel. The vacant land on Lancashire Boulevard, commonly known as Town Center West, is a prime piece of land for a hotel. What we need now is Cooper Communities' support for moving into our amazing future. My sincere thanks, Mayor Peter Christie, for being such an excellent guide.

Dr. Ginger Hamilton

Bella Vista

Editorial on 07/11/2018

Print Headline: Hoping dialog with North Korea will lead to recovery of MIA remains

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