MINT HILL – Kathleen Shelby Boyett has written almost 30 books on American history, with topics ranging from the Civil War to wartime stories of veterans of World War II.
Boyett is now also an event organizer after she attended a meeting of Korean War veterans back in April at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Indian Trail.
“At the end of that luncheon one of the Korean War vets that was present came around behind me to get out,” Boyett said. “He leaned over and said, ‘They will appreciate us after we are gone.’ This is the way these veterans feel.”
Boyett decided to do something to honor Korean War veterans. She is organizing a ceremony for those veterans on the 65th anniversary of the armistice that ended combat on the Korean peninsula.
The National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day Commemorative Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. July 27 at the Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park, 8850 Fairview Road. Boyett is expecting at least 10 or so veterans from the Korean War will be at the ceremony where there will be the posting of the colors, remarks by several dignitaries and the singing of Armed Forces service songs. There will also be a three-volley salute and the playing of taps.
“They do feel somewhat forgotten, but you can’t say that to me because it broke my heart,” Boyett said. “It was one of those moments where I knew instantly that I had to do something.”
Retired U.S. Navy Captain Young Chang Ha will give the invocation, some remarks and a benediction to end the ceremony.
The keynote speaker at the event will be retired U.S. Air Force Captain Don Putnam.
“I have already seen his remarks and they invoke emotion,” Boyett said. “They are very good.”
The ceremony will also be part of Boyett’s next book. Boyett has promised a group of Korean War Veterans that she will write a book on their experiences during the conflict. Preserving the stories of veterans is one of Boyett’s greatest joys as an author.
The planned book on the Korean War veterans will be similar to two books Boyett wrote about World War II veterans. “Life and War – Veterans of World War Two” chronicles six stories, while “Life and War Book 2” features several more veterans.
“My whole purpose in writing veterans’ stories is to honor these veterans and to honor their service to our country,” Boyett said. “It is important that we remember. It is so important that young people know what someone has done for them and this country. They are the reason they can get up and go to school and no one is shooting at them and no one is speaking German or Japanese. It’s very important that young people grow up with the understanding that freedom is not free.
“The best way to do that is by telling these stories. When I write a veteran’s story, I don’t just write a war story. I write about their childhood and growing up. I write about fulfilling their dreams afterwards. You see a whole person, and that way, you can relate to them.”
Want to learn more?
Find Kathleen Shelby Boyett’s writing at www.shelbyboyett.webs.com and www.ama zon.com.