Entering through the doors of a banquet hall, a crowd of Boy Scouts (Troop 777), reporters, photographers, and many city board member officials chatted among themselves in their seats until they heard the first speaker come up on stage and begin the event. On Friday evening of the 9th of November, an event celebrating Dosan Ahn Chang Ho’s birthday occurred in the Line Hotel located in Koreatown, Los Angeles.
Dosan Ahn Chang Ho was an activist who reformed the society of Korea and its social system for his country’s people. He made important changes in history just like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr.. Dosan once said, “We live in a cold selfish and loveless society. Let us cultivate and spread love and compassion.”
His story began when he was just a teenager; he studied Western Education in California and strongly believed for fighting for democracy for Korean citizens from being completely taken over by Japanese imperialists in 1910. He fought for his country until his death by the Japanese who tortured him.
Steven Choi, the member of the California State Assembly acknowledged Dosan’s history by sharing his “leadership and commitment to advancing the Korean American community and Korean Independence movement.” Ralph Ahn, who is the youngest and last living son of Dosan also spoke of what impacts Dosan made in order for Korea to have been an improved country.
Dosan Ahn’s legacy and memories remain and still affects today’s world. There are commemorative memorials and places located in Los Angeles and Korea such as the Dosan Ahn Chang Memorial Hall in Seoul, his statue in South Korea, the interchange signs on the freeway, and the United States Post Office named after him in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Dosan Ahn’s story is never and will never be forgotten and his significance to the history of Korea and its people will always remain something to be celebrated.
Yuna Baek, Grade 11
Sage Hill School