Local News

Friday, Mar 21 2014 10:12 AM

A war to remember

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Jeryl Matthews, left, and RIchard Smith, both Korean War veterans, take a moment in between cleaning the memorial to read the names on the front of the Korean War Memorial in Jastro Park.

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  2. 2 of 8

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    There are many names on the Korean War Memorial in Jastro Park of people who lost their lives during the war.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Jeryl Matthew, center, wearing his U.S. Army uniform during his time serving his country in the Korean War, is one of many faces on the front of the Kern County Korean War Memorial in Jastro Park.

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  4. 4 of 8

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Jeryl Matthews takes a moment to read some of the names on the Kern County Korean War Memorial In Jastro Park.

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  5. 5 of 8

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    The Kern County Korean War Memorial is dedicated to those who fought in the Korean War and also those who sacrificed their lives.

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  6. 6 of 8

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Richard Smith, left, takes a break while Jeryl Matthews uses a cleaning solution and a pumice stone to shine up the Korean War Memorial in Jastro Park, Thursday. Both served their country during the Korean War.

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  7. 7 of 8

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Korean War veterans Jeryl Matthews, left, and Richard Smith found a perfect solution to clean the Jastro Park Korean War Memorial that was tarnishing due to the spinklers in the park and other natural elements.

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  8. 8 of 8

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Korean War veterans Richard Smith, right, and Jeryl Matthews came out to the Korean War Memorial in Jastro Park Thursday to put a shine on the memorial that was erected in 2006. Smith served in the Air Force while Matthews served in the Army.

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By CASEY CHRISTIE, Californian staff photographer

The photograph of Korean War veteran Jeryl Matthews in his Army fatigues, wearing a helmet, etched in the Kern County Korean War Memorial wall was taken a long time ago.

He seems to remember it like it was yesterday.

Reminiscing about the war he and Air Force veteran Richard Smith fought in was the main topic of discussion as they busily cleaned the memorial in Henry A. Jastro Park Thursday.

Matthews and Smith decided the memorial, erected in 2006, needed a good cleaning. So, after discovering the perfect liquid solution and an old-fashioned pumice stone would do the trick, they took on the task.

The memorial states in bold lettering, "The Forgotten War," which lasted from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953, according to the words engraved on the stone.

There were 33,741 Americans killed in action, with 103,284 Americans wounded and 2,835 non-hostile deaths, according to the large, three-section memorial that catches your eye as you drive west on Truxtun Avenue past the park.

As they cleaned, they remembered those they served during the war. Matthews said he was in Korea while Smith said he served all around Korea, but not actually in the country.

They are both glad to be here today to talk about it.

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