Chief Sponsor: Jani Iwamoto

House Sponsor: Carol Spackman Moss


9     General Description:
10          This concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor honors efforts to help
11     Utah Korean War veterans receive the "Ambassador for Peace Medal."
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This resolution:
14          ▸     honors the efforts of retired Marine Corps sergeants John Cole and Jay Wells to
15     help Utah Korean War veterans receive the "Ambassador for Peace Medal"; and
16          ▸     expresses gratitude to Utah Korean War veterans for their service and sacrifice.
17     Special Clauses:
18          None

20     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
21          WHEREAS, the Korean War is often called "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown
22     War";
23          WHEREAS, properly remembering veterans who fought in a conflict often described as
24     "forgotten" is an essential expression of true gratitude;
25          WHEREAS, efforts are underway to see that all Utah combat veterans of the Korean
26     War are located and recognized for their sacrifice;
27          WHEREAS, these efforts began in 2012 when John Cole, a retired sergeant in the

28     United States Marine Corps and veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, addressed
29     questions about his service from a young South Korean journalist while attending an event in
30     Washington, D.C., commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War;
31          WHEREAS, other reporters and photographers, who spoke little or no English, listened
32     carefully as Cole shared his story as the first journalist acted as interpreter;
33          WHEREAS, through these exchanges, Cole came to realize the South Korean people
34     are deeply grateful for those who helped save their nation;
35          WHEREAS, Cole related that South Koreans do not see the Korean War as "The
36     Forgotten War" but as the "Remembered War" because they still have a nation;
37          WHEREAS, when Cole returned home, he felt compelled to do more to highlight the
38     service of Utah's Korean War veterans;
39          WHEREAS, Cole worked with Jay Wells, also a retired sergeant in the United States
40     Marine Corps and veteran of the Vietnam War, to brainstorm what to do next;
41          WHEREAS, within a few short weeks, the two men forged connections to those in the
42     business community that do work for the South Korean government, officials at the Consulate
43     General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco, and even those that talk directly to the
44     President of the Republic of South Korea;
45          WHEREAS, arrangements were made for Utah combat veterans of the Korean War to
46     receive the "Ambassador for Peace Medal" from the Republic of Korea;
47          WHEREAS, the costs for the medals are paid for entirely by the South Korean
48     government;
49          WHEREAS, to receive the medal, a veteran must be from Utah and have served in
50     combat during the Korean War between June 25, 1950, and July 27, 1953;
51          WHEREAS, the Utah Department of Veterans' and Military Affairs assisted with the
52     first medal ceremony, held in the Utah Capitol Rotunda in September 2014, and have
53     continued to assist with seven subsequent ceremonies;
54          WHEREAS, members of the Republic of Korea's government, including Han
55     Dong-Man, consul general of the Republic of Korea, have been present at each ceremony to
56     recognize the assembled veterans and their families;
57          WHEREAS, Dong-Man has stated, "Without the heroism, valor and sacrifice of these
58     Korean War veterans, our country would not have the peace, prosperity and economic growth

59     that we enjoy today";
60          WHEREAS, since 2013, Cole's and Wells's efforts have enabled about 1,000 Utahns to
61     receive the Republic of South Korea's "Ambassador for Peace Medal";
62          WHEREAS, approximately 17,000 Utahns served in the Korean War;
63          WHEREAS, at each ceremony, Cole and Wells learn of more Utah Korean War
64     veterans, and they know there are many more Utah combat veterans of the Korean War yet to
65     be honored; and
66          WHEREAS, Cole has said, "Some people have told us it's a project we'll never finish,
67     but what are we supposed to do? It's a lot of work, tracking all these names down, but we want
68     to get everyone we possibly can":
69          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
70     Governor concurring therein, honors the efforts of retired Marine Corps sergeants John Cole
71     and Jay Wells who have helped Korean War veterans receive the "Ambassador for Peace
72     Medal."
73          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor express gratitude
74     to every Utah combat veteran of the Korean War for their service and sacrifice.
75          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Utah
76     Department of Veterans' and Military Affairs, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea
77     in San Francisco, the President of the Republic of Korea, John Cole, and Jay Wells.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel