Sam Fielder, a Korean War veteran who was integral to Harford County becoming the first county in the nation to donate funds for the new Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall, was honored at the inauguration of the wall on July 27 in Washington.
Fielder, who died last November at the age of 88, helped raise a total of $12,300 for the wall, or about $400 for each of the 30 Harford County residents who fought in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman attended the ceremony along with Fielder’s widow, Doris.
“It was a good day – sad in a way – but still a good day,” Glassman said. “It made you grateful.”
Fielder enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1951 to fight in the war, shortly after graduating from Bel Air High School the previous June, according to Doris Fielder.
“It was just a very tough war,” she said.
The Fielders had been married for nearly 26 years and lived in Jarrettsville.
Fiedler was not the first Marine in his family. Her father was a Marine in World War I and her brother in World War II.
He was also known for his poetry, often about the Korean War; he was even recognized as Harford County Honorary Poet Laureate in 2017. He has read poems such as “Our Flag” at many local events. Glassman recalled his recital of the poem at a 9/11 memorial event in Fielder’s final years.
“It really brings home that sacrifice of these young Americans who are barely 18 or 19 and who are shipped off to a [foreign] country and fight for people they didn’t know,” Glassman said. “It’s good to be thanked and to recognize them, especially as time passes and they are fewer and fewer.”