A Lifetime of Service to Community & Country
In service to both community and country, Larry Phillips began when he joined the Army and served in Vietnam and Thailand. He continues that service today as vice chairman-elect of the Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial in Kansas City.
Phillips, now retired from the Kansas City Transportation Authority, became involved in the memorial as a result of his membership in the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“A friend asked if I could help set up chairs at an event at the memorial, and I did. The VFW is a service organization that helps in the community and helping at the memorial seemed like a good way to do that. As time went on, I was just doing more and more things there.”
Phillips said he finds the memorial, located in downtown near Union Station, is always a good place to be. “It’s wonderful for the Korean War veterans to come and visit.”
Like many other hoping to erase the conflict’s reputation as the “forgotten war,” Phillips actually has no direct connection to the military campaign where nearly 34,000 Americans, including 900 Missourians, lost their lives. But the soldiers who fought there deserve to be remembered for their valor and sacrifice.
Among his roles at the memorial’s June 14, 2022, Annual Flag Day Flag Retirement ceremony, he was chosen to make a presentation about those who have been Prisoners of War or are Missing in Action (POW-MIA). According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there remain more than 7,500
U.S. military still unaccounted for from the Korean War.
When Phillips retired from the military, he joined the municipal transportation authority, first as a bus driver, then moving to management, becoming a dispatcher, and eventually Assistant Superintendent of Transportation.
The Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial, certified as the official memorial for the state of Missouri, is located in Washington Square Park, 174 East Pershing Rd., in downtown Kansas City, in the area of Union Station, Crown Center and the World War I museum.
Written By: Frank Cook