Local Korean War soldier remembered in Moore

The CPL J. Ralph Holder bridge dedication was set for April 2, 2020. A week before the commemoration date, COVID protocols came into effect in NC, and the anticipated event slated at the Carthage Agricultural Center was canceled. Instead, the Holder family contingent quietly remembered alone.

Now, on July 27, 2022, at 10 a.m. the commemoration will be completed.

American Legion Post 12 Commander Phil Vandercook, NC Sen. Tom McInnis, and Holder family members will speak at the wreath-laying ceremony at the bridge over Deep River, honoring Johnnie “Ralph” Holder. CPL Holder was Moore County’s first soldier killed in action (KIA) in the Korean War. He died on July 27, 1950, during the prelude to the Battle of Pusan Perimeter. He was 20 years old.

American Legion Post 12 in Carthage recently celebrated its centennial, with its charter dating back to 1922. Post 12 currently has 177 members, whereof 18 are Korean War era veterans.

July 27 also marks the Korean War Armistice Day in 1953, and July 27, 1995, is the day of the inauguration of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. On July 27, 2022, the DC memorial’s new Wall of Remembrance will be inaugurated, consisting of 100 granite panels, featuring the names of 36,634 Americans who died supporting the war and more than 7,174 Koreans who died while augmenting the Army. Most of those killed in the Korean War were between 18 and 22 years old.

In 2021, approximately 500,000 Korean War Veterans still remained in the US, but an estimated 600 are lost each day.

Photo: The bridge over Deep River on S. Carbonton Road between Harrington Road and Alston House Road located in Moore County — the “Corporal J. Ralph Holder Bridge.”

~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel contributor Linda Vandercook.


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