Forgetting the war

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Forgetting the war

U.S. President Barack Obama last week proclaimed July 27 as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, asking all federal departments and agencies to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on that day.

The House of Representatives also passed the Korean War Veterans Recognition Act, an initiative meant to express respect and gratitude to veterans who sacrificed their precious lives in battle.

The United States as a country is very dedicated to war veterans, and it works for decades to find the bones of those who didn’t return from battle.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. attempts to respect to the nation’s sons and daughters who answered a request for protection from a country that they had never visited, from people they had never met.

Therefore, it’s only natural that Obama would make such a move, as it falls in line with what the United States has done in the past.

However, Korea’s attitude about the war is not as healthy. There is a gap, of course, between Korea and the U.S. in terms of how the countries were formed and their exact political and government structures. So it is therefore difficult for us to mirror everything the U.S. does to remember the Korean War.

Having said that, there are some serious concerns about how we as a nation are addressing and handling this topic. According to some surveys, 55.6 percent of Koreans in their 20’s don’t even know the years the war took place.

More than half of all middle and high school students don’t know that the war broke out as the North invaded the South. And a whopping 34 percent of freshmen at the Korea Military Academy believe that the United States was our primary enemy in the war.

Such distorted and mistaken perceptions of history must be corrected as early as possible.

Of course, we should not forever remain mired in the memories of the war. We also should embrace North Korea if it sincerely wants to coexist. However, we must not forget the truth about the Korean War. History proves that once we forget the past, we are destined to repeat our mistakes. A red alarm is now blaring in our society.

It has been a long time since documents from the former Soviet Union clearly revealed that the Korean War was the result of the North’s invasion of the South. Nonetheless, groundless arguments to the contrary are still commonplace in our country.

We must no longer overlook the attempts of pro-North Korean leftists to distort the truth about the Korean War.
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