Monday, August 24, 2015

1950 Rescue in the Korean War

Daseul, one of my students, interviewed an elderly man to get a story in order to write a five-paragraph essay. She got a very meaningful story and gave me permission to post it here. Thank you, Daseul, I appreciate the detail and your overall structure in writing a war story with momentum and flow!

A Miracle of December
I visited my grandparent’s house which is located in the rural area of the southern region on my last summer vacation. On the visit, I met an elderly man from North Korea, who is a neighbor of my grandparent. Because the elderly man is a close friend of my grandfather, fortunately I could have a dinner with him, and hear the stories about his life. The most memorable part was the story of how the elderly man came to South Korea. The story was as follows.
             He came to South Korea during the Korean War in December 1950. At that time, the war situation reversed in North Korea Army’s favor due to the intervention of the Chinese Army. Korea Army and the US Army were completely defeated in the battle of Chosin Reservoir, and barely managed to retreat to Heungnam. They decided to carry out Heungnam withdrawal action, and then 200 ships of the US Army reached Heungnam to support the action.
            Hearing the news that there were ships, the refugees started to flock into Heungnam to be rescued. The elderly man was also one of these refugees. He said that they had been trembling with the fear of being killed by the Chinese Army, and were so desperate to survive. The people continually gathered at Heungnam hoping to live, and at last, there were about 100,000 refugees there.
            The commanders of the US Army were embarrassed because the ships were for military use, not for the civilians, and there was a great deal of military equipment and soldiers to take aboard. Besides, there was also the danger of the invasion of a disguised spy. For that reason, the commanders of US Army disapproved of taking the refugees on at first. However, according to the earnest persuasion of the Korean commanders, they finally made a great decision of throwing up arms and carrying the refugees instead.
As a result, about 100,000 people boarded the ships and reached South Korea safely. The elderly man whom I met also got on the ship, and could survive. He said that it was a miracle that the ships with 10,000 people which had been supposed to carry 50 people accomplished the voyage in safety. He also said that the decision of the commanders was a magnificent one in that they gave up the weapons which were soldiers’ life to save the people, lives themselves. While listening to his story, I got goosebumps and admired greatly how this story could happen. Moreover, I felt great love for humanity, even in a scary time of war, in this story. Therefore, I titled this story “a miracle of December”.

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