U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis honored the life of PFC Raymond Smith in the House of Representatives Oct. 21.
Smith, a Sunset Park resident, was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950 during the battle of Chosin Reservoir.
“[This was] a battle many military experts and scholars considered to be one of the most brutal conflicts of modern history due to the sheer fierceness of our opponent and severe weather elements,” Malliotakis said.
The U.S. suffered an estimated 18,000 casualties during the 17-day-battle.
Smith’s remains were identified in March of this year. They were found in one of 55 boxes filled with possible remains of U.S. service members that were sent to the U.S. in 2018 after a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.
Family, friends, Port Authority Police and a full U.S. military honor guard met Smith’s casket at JFK International Airport Sept. 22.
“Raymond’s family finally received closure when his remains were finally identified and accounted for after 71 unbearable years,” Malliotakis said. “[His] memory lives on and his sacrifice won’t be forgotten. Currently there are more than 81,600 Americans that remain missing from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Gulf War and other conflicts.”
Malliotakis urged her colleges for the return of all prisoners of war and a full accounting and repatriation of fallen service members’ remains.