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Old photo's link to Wilmington helps revive memories of 'forgotten war'

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A photograph taken 62 years ago of two American soldiers in the heat of battle in Korea is impressive enough, but the photo is only the beginning of an amazing story that leads all the way back to Wilmington. The photo was taken in 1950 during a battle of the Korean War. It was published in a veteran's magazine as two unknown soldiers under fire. But today we know who the soldiers are. "We found this man, who is Beauford Haney," said David Hartley, commander of American Legion Post 10 in Wilmington. "And we found out later that mr. Haney is a resident here in Wilmington." Often referred to as "The Forgotten War," the Korean War lasted just three years, from 1950 to 1953, yet resulted in the loss of more than 35,000 American soldiers. The war may be "forgotten," but six decades later, Haney still remembers the day that photo was taken. "We were on the east coast, where the perimeter was around Pusan," he said. "It was very small. They just about had them all the way in the water when we got there." The day the photo was taken was a typical day for Haney, who saw his fair share of violence and death. "If you'll look at the bottom right, this is a dead Korean soldier," Haney said. "So the battles were intense there." Death in war is something Haney knows all too well. The photo of him and a fellow soldier is a vivid reminder. "Oh, that's Robert Dowd, " Haney says of the other man. "Robert Lee Dowd of Kansas City. He was killed. I would have been too if I'd have been laying there, but it was so cold. I couldn't stand it." Although it is a war that Haney will never forget, he keeps a sense of humor when he hears Korea called "The Forgotten War." "When I came back, I went home, and they said, 'Where you been?' I said, 'Well, I been in Korea for a while,' Haney laughed. Thursday, American Legion Post 10 is holding a public celebration of the cease fire agreement that ended the Korean War. The event is at the post home at 702 Pine Grove Drive. The public is invited to attend and honor Korean War veterans. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program will start at 6:30 p.m. There will be a panel of those that participated in the major battles of the Korean war, Pusan Perimeter, Incheon Landing, Liberation of Seoul, Task Force Smith and the Chosin Reservoir. There will be a question and answer session from the floor.

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