HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - John Graham, who woke up in Korea on his 25th birthday in 1953 to hear the news that the Korean War had ended, was honored with other Hastings-on-Hudson veterans at the village's first Veterans Breakfast on Saturday.
Graham, a lifelong Hastings resident, said he never expected to be at war again after being a U.S, Navy reservist during World War II.
"I got married and shipped out the next day," said Graham as he enjoyed breakfast with a dozen other veterans at the James Harmon Community Center. "I left the reserves and was drafted into the Army right after that for Korea. But having the war end on my birthday was a nice surprise."
Sponsored by the Hastings Recreation Department, the breakfast included more than 40 veterans, family members and others.
"Yonkers does something like this for veterans," Recreation Department Assistant Lisa O'Reilly said. "It worked out that today marks the end of the Korean War, and it's John Graham's birthday. We thought it was a great idea."
Graham said he enjoyed being around old friends who also served, and was reminded of his world at war 60 years ago.
"I'm 85 now," Graham said. "I look back and it's hard to believe how things have changed. But I don't remember anything too good about the wars, except when it was over."
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