Local veterans receive medals of gratitude

Korean War veteran William Hill Sr., front, was presented with a medal of gratitude during a ceremony in East Hartford. From left, South Korean ambassador Ahn Ho-Young, U.S. Rep. John Larson, Korean War veteran Lloyd Sherwood, and John DeMello. Hill and Sherwood are residents of The Orchards at Southington.

Korean War veteran William Hill Sr., front, was presented with a medal of gratitude during a ceremony in East Hartford. From left, South Korean ambassador Ahn Ho-Young, U.S. Rep. John Larson, Korean War veteran Lloyd Sherwood, and John DeMello. Hill and Sherwood are residents of The Orchards at Southington.

A pair of local veterans were honored for their service during the Korean War. On Monday, Oct. 21, William Hill Sr. and Lloyd Sherwood, both residents at The Orchards in Southington, were honored at a ceremony at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford. In a special ceremony in the museum hanger, the two veterans were presented with medals of gratitude.

The awards came through the efforts of local veterans advocate John DeMello.

South Korean ambassador Ahn Ho-Young and U.S. Rep. John Larson were on hand to present the medals to over 100 former servicemen. Both officials praised the role of the American armed forces in liberating millions of Koreans from authoritarian communist control.

These medals, designed by the South Korean ambassador, were made from recycled barbed wire that once lined the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily guarded present-day border between the North and South. Every seven years, the wire is taken and melted down to create the medal of appreciation for veterans to receive.

The medal’s reverse side reads, “‘Thank You’ – In recognition of your dedicated service during the Korean War, this medal is specially crafted with a piece of rusty barbed wire from DMZ in the center. June 25, 1950-July 27, 1953”

In a press release, The Orchards at Southington executive director Audrey Vinci and the entire community expressed pride in Hill and Sherwood for their “valiant efforts.”

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