Back at the DMZ

President Donald Trump’s visit to the DMZ (demilitarized zone) at Panmunjom, North Korea, brought back memories for me. Sixty-three years ago in 1956, I was an Army MP lieutenant at Munsan-ni, 12 miles below Panmunjom and the DMZ

I was part of United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission. When the Korean War ended in 1953, a permanent truce was not signed, but a cessation of hostilities said neither side would raise the number of troops or bring in any new weapons.

The Military Armistice Commission under the U.N. was charged with enforcing the provisions of the agreement.

A general in charge of the armistice commission was stationed at our base, and he met with the North Korean armistice commission.

Also stationed with us were the members of the four countries of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission from Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and Czechoslovakia. They flew around and checked to see if things were being followed out. And with them was one of our MP lieutenants.

One of my favorite pictures of that time is of my good friend, University of Idaho Vandal college roommate Joe McDonald from Grangeville, standing in South Korea with North Korea behind him. That was long ago and far away, but I still cherish the memories, and am very thankful that I got to serve in the military.

Hurray for the USA.

Dick Riggs


Rewriting U.S. history

I was visiting with a friend the other day, and he is all over this Republican-liberal Democrat thing that is being created here in the United States. He calmly made the comment that he could see the U.S. could be thrown back into a Civil War again. People who say those things do not know their history.

I have walked the hallowed topography of the Chickamauga battlegrounds. For me, it seems that I could feel the spirits of the 34,624 casualties from those two days. This was only eclipsed by the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, where there were 51,112 documented casualties. In those bloodiest four years of American history, there were 620,00 casualties, or 2 percent of the American population. Of those who fought in the Civil War, it was a white man’s war. Less than 5 percent of the soldiers were black, and they fought on both sides in the Civil War.

It makes me mad when people within the United States want to rewrite history into a war of race and take down the monuments dedicated to the history of our nation, so we do not forget.

The Civil War was fought over states’ rights and nothing more: brother against brother, father against son, cousin against cousin to the death. ...

If history is rewritten, we will live to see it again. The last is a question: What would an all-out Civil War look like in today’s age?

Once tripped, there is no going back.

Wayne Olson


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