May, 1953


While positioned at "D" Company, we were on a high hill overlooking the whole front line. The Chinese held hills, "Matthew", "Mark", "Luke" and "John" (227) out front, while to the left, looking north west, you could see for about 30 miles, including the search light pointing straight up at Panmunjom into the night sky. While the truce talks were in progress this light was white, however it was supposed to turn green if the truce was signed, and possibly red if total all-out war with no more truce talks. (I could have the colours mixed up after 40 years.)

As I stood and watched the tracers arcing across the sky, some green or orange, yellow or white, I thought what a marvelous show. Sometimes tank shells would shoot across, large and moving very fast, some green, some white in a shallow arc, and machine gun tracers seeming to take a slow journey to the enemy side. Now and then the distant hills would show up white as parachute flares drifted slowly down. I wondered how many men were dying or wounded as I watched this spectacular show in May 1953.

Deadly Faryland

Years later, in 1993, 1 watched the Gulf War in progress on television. This was forty years after the Korean War. The news showed tracer bullets and artillery shells raining down around Baghdad, mostly green and yellow colours. I again thought of the people killed and injured, happening in real life only possibly hours before, not a movie, not "make-believe" but REAL!!!

I watched over the weeks as people around me continued happy and not taking much notice of the carnage that was happening in front of their eyes on television. The British, Americans and allies were doing the right thing as I could see under the present day circumstances. I guess a lot of people could not grasp properly that what was happening was real. Perhaps the amounts of violent movies we see sometimes cause people not to accept the realities that are actually happening.

Ernie R. Holden.

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