On June 25th, 1950, the Korean War broke out, as the North Koreans and their allies suddenly attacked South Korea.
According to Wikipedia, about 25 countries engaged in the Korean War, some of which were the United Kingdom, Turkey, and India. 21 countries out of the 25 helped South Korea fight the war against the North Koreans, China, and the Soviet Union. The United States was one of the most influential countries of South Korea’s allies. They sent numerous soldiers and provided with many services, one of which was medical services.
While most believe that the events during the Korean War were transparent and unconcealed, many are unaware of many of the war crimes. More particularly, civilian murder. “I have never heard of any war crimes,” said EunKyung Park, a school counselor in Korea. “I don’t recall my teachers teaching me about them, back when I was still in school, which was [un]til 1993.”
One of the numerous war crimes that happened during the Korean War is the No Gun Ri Massacre, which took place in July 26-29 of 1950, just a bit after the war began. However, it was not until 1999 that the No Gun Ri Massacre was put on the spot through the publication of the Association Press (AP) story.
According to the New York Times, the AP story was where the 7th Cavalry veterans corroborated survivors’ accounts, found declassified U.S. Army orders to fire on civilians because of reports of North Koreans, hiding amongst the Korean refugees.
After the publication of the AP story, then, were people taught about the No Gun Ri massacre. “None of my teachers have taught about the No Gun Ri massacre,” said KyungMin Kim, a 9th grader in Sewon Middle school. “[None of] our history textbooks even mentions it.”
While we say that we shall learn our history and not repeat our mistakes, we often fail to do so. History is what helped us move forward. If the people do not learn of their history, how will we arise and advance?
As James Truslow Adams – a famous American writer and historian from the early 1900s – once said, “We cannot advance without new experiments in living, but no wise man tries every day what he has proved wrong the day before.” And, this is precisely the reason why we need to know our history in full and missing components should always be taught.
Christy Yoon, Grade 1
Mission San Jose High School