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From the Ashes of War: The Story of Resilience and Remembrance in South Korea

The story of how modern South Korea came to be is similar to the stories of other Asian countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The geographic boundaries were established through bloodshed and suffering from the Russo-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, and the Korean War, to name a few. Unfortunately, Bertrand Russell was right when he said, “War does not determine who is right – only who is left.” Nowhere is this history more prevalent than in South Korea, which, after enduring three years of intense fighting, has remained in a constant state of suspended war since 1953.

As a visitor to this remarkable country, it's easy to overlook the profound sacrifices made by South Korean civilians and military personnel, as well as by United Nations forces, especially considering these came so shortly after the horrors of World War II. Fortunately, the War Memorial of Korea (29 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul) offers a poignant glimpse into these struggles. It honors the sacrifice of military personnel from around the world and provides a serene space for reflection.

My family and I spent a few hours exploring the War Memorial and its stunning library. Below are a handful of photos I captured during my visit.

If you ever find yourself with some extra time in Seoul, I highly recommend exploring this place of tribute to the sacrifices upon which this nation was built. The War Memorial of Korea is not just a place of history; it's a place of reflection, understanding, and appreciation for the peace and resilience achieved through immense struggle.

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