As educators, we do our best to prepare our students for the future—but what does this...
On October 25, 2022, 6.25 Foundation founder Sungyull Koo and wife Changwha Koo offered a check for 5,033 dollars to renovate the Nonfiction section of Amelia Earhart Elementary School’s library. The foundation offered their donation to commemorate the heroic actions of a decorated Utahn soldier who died while fighting in the Korean War.
The 6.25 Foundation aims to honor fallen Korean War soldiers and fund education for the youth belonging to the soldier’s schools.
Students gathered around Sungyull and Changwha Koo’s within the library for a plaque unveiling and the acceptance of the check. The two spoke briefly about First Lieutenant Samuel Vern Westerman, handing a commemorative plaque to Librarian Janett Roberts.
Samuel Vern Westerman was a Utahn whose extraordinary heroism and selfless actions earned him the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and more than a dozen other medals, including the Republic of Korea Presidential Citation.
Westerman engaged forces near Yong Byong Myon in North Korea, where a much larger force surrounded his company. Westerman strayed into exposed territory to draw direct fire, eventually engaging in hand-to-hand combat to hold his position. Struck by a hostile bullet, Westerman received first-aid but refused to yield, returning to evacuate other wounded allies, eventually offering protective fire to get his men out of their position. Westerman was killed in action, and his remains were never recovered.
One student stood to read the plaque:
This Children’s Non-Fiction Library is dedicated to 1st LT. Samuel Vern WESTERMAN (April 4, 1927 – November 30, 1950)
Battery A, 48th Field Artillery Battalion,
2nd Infantry Division, US ARMY
Killed in Action, Battle of Kunu-Ri
And to the other 140 Utahns
Who gave their lives in the Korean War
June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1953
To save South Korea from Communism
Sungyull and Changwha Koo commented that they were children at the advent of the Korean War.
“If it weren’t for brave men like Samuel Vern Westerman, we would not be where we are today,” Koo said.
The vision for the 6.25 Foundation started after speaking with Korean students, who, to the Koo family’s surprise, weren’t familiar with the events of the war.
Their goal is to educate the youth and remember the fallen. At Amelia Earhart Elementary, Mr. and Mrs. Koo accomplished their goal.
Amelia Earhart plans to name their Non-Fiction section after Samuel Vern Westerman, hanging the plaque in the Non-Fiction in remembrance of their donation.
We thank Sungyull and Changwha Koo and the 6.25 Foundation for their generous donation and we are grateful for their visit.