University of Pittsburgh
May 11, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 12 -- It's been called "The Forgotten War."

But the Korean Conflict, which began on June 25, 1950 when North Korean troops invaded South Korea and cost more than 54,000 American lives before ending three years later, will be remembered in a big way in the Pittsburgh region with a series of commemorative activities and events. (See accompanying schedule.)

The first public event will be the raising of the commemorative flag for the 50th anniversary of the Korean War by the Korean War Veterans Color Guard, at 10 a.m., Friday, May 19, in front of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland.

A highlight of the schedule is "Pittsburgh Remembers Day," on June 24, a day of activities that includes tours, displays, videos and music, and culminates with the Matthew B. Ridgway Memorial Dinner in Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and a free concert by the River City Brass Band.

All festivities are being planned by the Pittsburgh Committee for the Commemoration of the Korean War, whose members include representatives of the University of Pittsburgh; the Korean War Veterans Association of Western Pennsylvania and the Korean War Veterans Color Guard; Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum; Stars & Stripes Omnimedia, Inc. (; the Pittsburgh Pirates; National City Bank of Pennsylvania; the Veterans Administration; Pitt Army ROTC and Alumni; and city, county and state government.

"It's fitting that Pittsburgh not only be one of the first cities to pay tribute to the men and women who served in Korea, but that we do it in a big way," said Donald Goldstein, committee chair and professor in the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Goldstein cited factors that connect western Pennsylvania to the conflict, beginning with its population of Korean War veterans which, at approximately 47,000, is the largest in the nation.

Additionally, General Matthew B. Ridgway, a Pittsburgh native who was appointed to lead all United Nations forces in Korea in early 1951, played what Goldstein called "the crucial role in turning the tide of the war" and bringing a cessation of hostilities. Included in his legacy are the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Korean War Veterans, which bears his name; and the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, established through a contribution from Ridgway.

"We are hoping that there are enough activities of interest, not only to the veterans but their families, friends, and fellow citizens, to encourage them to participate and learn more about the Korean War and its impact on our country and our history," said Edward Stevens, president of the Korean War Veterans of Western Pennsylvania General Matthew B. Ridgway Chapter. "Our intent is to educate, to inform, and to honor. Because no sacrifice made by American service men and women should ever be forgotten."

For more information about the scheduled activities and events, including how individuals or organizations might participate through contributions and sponsorships, call 412-648-7402. Additional information can be obtained from the website at:



(Note to editors: If you are interested in interviewing or profiling men and women living in your area who served in Korea, The Pittsburgh Committee for the Commemoration of the Korean War can help. Call Ed Stevens at 412-276-5059 for more information.)



1950-1953 Pittsburgh Remembers 2000-2003

Schedule of Events

May 19:

Flag Raising Ceremony, 10 a.m., Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, in Oakland - Korean War Color Guard will raise the commemorative flag for the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War

May 30:

Wreath Laying Ceremony, 10 a.m., Korean War Memorial on the North Side - Korean War Veterans Memorial Day observance ceremony

Ridgway Center Dedication Ceremony, 2 p.m., first floor of Posvar Hall,

230 S. Bouquet Street, Oakland - Ceremony to honor Korean War hero, General Matthew B. Ridgway, whose contributions led to the creation of the Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at Pitt

June 15 & 16:

History of the Korean War Academic Conference, 9 a.m. (both days), rooms 2P56 and 2M56, Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet Street, Oakland - Historians and scholars of the Korean War gather at the University of Pittsburgh to discuss various aspects of the war

June 24:

Korean War Remembrance Service, 12 p.m., Korean War Memorial on the North Side - Korean War veterans and the local Korean community gather to honor those who served in the war

Pittsburgh Remembers Day, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., outside Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Pitt's William Pitt Union -- tours, static displays, video, music; 5:30 p.m., banquet hall of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall -Matthew B. Ridgway Memorial Dinner (tickets required); 7:30 p.m., Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall auditorium - free concert with the River City Brass Band

June 27:

The Korean War: Lessons for the Next 50 Years, Academic Conference, 8:30 a.m., The University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland - The Ridgway Center and the Army War College host a conference to discuss lessons learned from the Korean War

Schedule of Events, cont.

June 29:

Korean Veterans Day with the Pirates, 7:05 p.m., Three Rivers Stadium - Korean War veterans are honored before the game; sponsored by Stars & Stripes Omnimedia, Inc. (

July 4:

4th of July Commemorative Ceremony, Time TBD, Point State Park - Commemorative ceremony honoring Korean War veterans as part of city's larger celebration