In the middle of the bustling city of Busan, South Korea’s second largest city, lies a 14 hectare oasis of tranquility. It is the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, the only one in the world honoring those that have fallen while serving the UN cause. Twenty-one nations sent men and women to serve in the Korean War and 11 of those countries are represented with plots in the cemetery.
However, it is still relatively unknown to many people. When I made enquiry about it to a couple of local Korean tourist guides, they expressed surprise that I would be interested in visiting the place. However, one of them came with me and left with a different and much more appreciative attitude. She promised that she would recommend it to other visitors in the future.
The Korean War was the costliest conflict involving troops serving under the United Nations flag with about 41,000 killed or missing. Among the casualties were not just soldiers but medical and aid personnel. The United States lost 36,600 service personnel with another103,300 injured. Last weekend, was Memorial Day in the U.S. which was the spur for this post.
When visiting a war memorial cemetery like this, one cannot help but ponder about the young men and women who served and died for a people and a place that they did not know and are now interred forever away from home.
There are 2,300 lie buried here including 4 known only to God.
The place is beautiful and serene. The Commission for the United Nations Memorial Cemetery (CUNMCK) has done a wonderful job and the Korean soldiers that stand watch over the place give honor to those that died in service for their nation.
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ‘n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?