On this day 69 years ago, the North Korean army’s invasion of South Korea began the conflict known as the Korean War.
Before the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, there were 33,686 US battle deaths, 2,830 non-battle deaths in Korea, and 17,730 other deaths across the military during that period.
Though the conflict, still a source of contention on the Korean Peninsula, is often called the “Forgotten War,” hundreds of people recently came out to attend the funeral of Dale Quick, an Army Korean War veteran who passed away without any known surviving family members.
He was honored Monday, a day before the anniversary.
Roper & Sons funeral home in Lincoln, Nebraska urged veterans groups and members of the community to attend the funeral for Quick, who served in the Army from 1947 to1955 and died on June 13 in Lincoln, Nebraska at the age of 91.
“We are appealing to any and all veterans, veterans’ clubs and organizations and our community to attend Dale’s service to honor an individual who so selflessly served our country,” Roper & Sons Funeral Home said in Quick’s obituary.
The funeral home’s request quickly circulated on social media and was shared by figures including CNN’s Jake Tapper, prompting hundreds to pay their respects to Quick at his funeral Monday morning.
“We wanted to make sure that he knew he still had family, even if they weren’t biological,” Jody Schmale, commander of the American Legion Riders, told ABC-affiliate KLKN.
"The community who never knew this individual, but because he wore that uniform and was willing to write that check and put his foot on that line,” Schmale said. “It really says that they support what our veterans and our military do."
Among those who also attended the funeral were approximately 50 bikers and flag carriers that led his casket, along with Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican.
"I think what it shows is that Lincoln is a very caring community and they want to honor our veterans and even for someone they don't know like Dale Quick, to come and pay their last respects, to say that we appreciate the men and women who put on that uniform, and we want to show our respect," Ricketts told KLKN.
Five extended family members from Kansas also attended after the funeral was circulated on social media, according to Quick’s caretaker Barb Dethlefs.
Quick was buried with full military honors.