59 Years Ago

June 25 marks the anniversary of the Korean War. On this way, soldiers from North Korea crossed the 38th degree parallel, which is the dividing line between the two Koreas, and invaded South Korea. The military conflict lasted for more than three years until an armistice was signed in July of 1953.

One of my husband’s great grand uncle died as one of the 600,000 soldiers of South Korea during that war. His tomb is located at the National Cemetery.

During the Korean War the Philippine government, as one of the Allied states, also sent troops to help defend the democratic South Korea. Among the 7,430 Filipino soldiers in the Korean War is former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos. The late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr was a correspondent here when he was only 17 years old. It was his experience in the war that he drew the inspiration to write the story of the Filipino movie “Koreana” starring Nida Blanca. I’d seen this movie when I was in high school but I don’t remember it anymore.

There are lots of information on the internet regarding the Korean War. You can also get insights from the documentary “Korean War in Color.”

In Seoul, a place to learn about the Korean War is at the War Memorial Museum near Samgakji Station (line 4 and 6). The third floor of the museum has information on the countries that helped South Korea during the war, including the Philippines.

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