ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 5th, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Daughter Attends Ceremony In Busan for Father Killed During Korean War

» by in: Korean War

Here is another good story about the efforts Koreans will go through to honor the memory of Korean War veterans:

SEOUL — Kathleen Mischke remembers her father, always a soldier, teaching her to make a bed so tightly that a nickel would bounce off it. She remembers him teaching her to roller skate and singing funny songs, and how he could whistle louder than anybody she knew.

She also remembers travelling to Fort Lewis, Wash., with her family to say goodbye as he deployed to South Korea, where he would die on Sept. 6, 1950, in fighting near the Nakdong River during the early days of the Korean War. He left behind a wife and three young daughters; Mischke was only 5.

“What does a little girl think of her dad? He was my hero and he didn’t come home,” said Mischke, now 68 and a retired gerontologist living in Beaverton, Ore.

She would later read the letters her father, a 27-year-old World War II veteran, sent home to her mother from the front, describing the devastation and the cold, the World War II-era equipment used by the soldiers and how some were sent to the peninsula without full training.

She dreamed of going to South Korea to see where he spent his last days.

On Thursday, more than 62 years after Staff Sgt. John Hughes was killed, she finally got that chance during a brief visit to South Korea that included a surprisingly warm welcome from the country.

Mischke and her husband, David, had initially planned to travel to South Korea on a cruise that included a one-day stop in Busan. Before the trip, she contacted a Korean War veterans’ association in Oregon and former Oregon Sen. John Lim, who put her in touch with acquaintances in Busan. The South Koreans who heard about Mischke were touched by her quest. They arranged to pick the couple up from their ship and to hold a ceremony at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, where her father’s name is inscribed on a monument to troops who died in the war.

Nearly 90 people attended the event, including a number of South Korean dignitaries and even former presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, who flew from Seoul to give a condolence speech. Afterwards, she was taken to one of the city’s best Korean restaurants for a banquet. [Stars & Stripes]

You can read the rest at the link, but I thought it was pretty cool that Moon Jae-in showed up. He may be from the Korean left, but I never considered him a Chinboista as a good number of the Korean left are.

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  • Bill
    6:45 pm on April 5th, 2013 1

    As a 1952-53 KorWar vet, I can’t help but be moved by this report. My sympathy goes out to Kathleen Mischke and all other survivors of our fallen heroes.

    I often tell people how much the free world owes to the outnumbered, outgunned and unprepared ROK and United Nations troops who desperately held out at the bottom of the peninsula until reinforcements could arrive. At least today’s South Koreans haven’t forgotten that.

    I noticed only one small mistake. If Staff Sergeant John Hughes died on Sept. 6, 1950, I don’t understand how he could have written home about the cold weather.

    Otherwise, it’s an excellent report of a fine tribute to one of the many who gave so much for our defense.

  • Baek, In-je
    7:11 pm on April 5th, 2013 2

    A few Koreans will honor the memory of fallen Americans. Most will say, “So?”, when you tell them about American involvement in the war. Ungratefull, the whole lot of them.

  • Scott
    7:22 am on April 6th, 2013 3

    I disagree with the ungrateful comment. I do business in Korea and have been approached numerous times while on the subway by older men and women who ask me if I’m American. Then they proceed to tell me how much they appreciate what we did. Now, I’ve never had anyone younger than 50 do this, but the ones who remember the war are grateful.

  • Obama's Speech Coach
    8:01 am on April 6th, 2013 4

    I don’t expect Koreans to thank me for the sacrifices made by others… Maybe Inje-si needs to get over it or join the VFW?

  • charliemarlow
    8:25 am on April 6th, 2013 5

    Korea is the only place in the world that this would happen. I have read that that a village where the Normandy landing took place acknowledges the sacrifices Americans made, but the rest of France?
    Koreans do this quietly, and thus sincerely. People in the US should know this is one place the buried American soldiers can rest in peace, honored.

  • whatsockpuppetsdon'tknow
    11:40 am on April 6th, 2013 6

    The older ones, yeah, they are grateful. From my experience of years of LIVING in Korea (not just “visiting”) and not being American, a good lot of these gobbers do not appreciate the sacrifice foreigners made for Korea. As I stated before, do a test, give these people a stir and go on an anti-Yank rant and you’ll see their real opinions shine through. Now, to be fair, some do appreciate it all, but most, well…

    It’s a good thing MacArthur’s guards

  • Jan Moss
    9:38 am on April 7th, 2013 7

    The story is very touching but with the timing I wonder how much of it is propaganda led? Not that I wish to appear cynical or anything…!

  • Liz
    10:05 am on April 7th, 2013 8

    #7: I doubt she planned her father’s memorial ceremony around current events. But if she did, she has had about 700 occasions in the past ten years to choose from.

 

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