My grandma was only 14 years old when she heard gunshots. At the same time, some of her neighbors were amazed and surprised at the fire that was burning miles away with no anticipation of an attack. That was the day when the North Koreans along with the Chinese and Soviet Union troops started their invasion.
Babies started to cry and mothers started throwing their babies into the ocean due to fears of being spotted by the enemy. However, some couldn’t because they couldn’t bear throwing a life away.
She smelled a foul stench arising from the coast. South Korean soldiers who had been severely injured pleaded to their comrades to kill them because they couldn’t burden the rest of their team members by helping them. They also didn’t want to die in the hands of North Koreans so the troops laid their injured comrades on the beach and lighted them on fire. The message reached my grandmother that the coastline were full of burning bodies.
Her grandparents and younger and oldest sister decided to stay and hoped for the best. They thought that the invaders would be pushed back by Southern forces. So only my grandmother, her parents, and two sisters left. Promises were made that they would unite again. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it out once the border was established and there has been no forms of contact since then.
During that night of invasion, it was dark and my grandma’s family were uncoordinated. Once a flare illuminated the night sky, they were able to find a way toward the coastline. Fortunately, her family lived close to the Western coast so they reached the coast within hours after the first gunshots were heard. They also made sure to be quiet because there were Chinese soldiers executing escapees who were caught. Once they reached the coast, a small boat was in the water so they waddled through the chest deep water until they got onto the boat. They rowed until they reached a small island full of escapees. Then they got onto a bigger boat to reach another island. Finally, they had aboard a big ship sponsored by the U.N. to carry them all the way down to the tip of South Korea. One of her family member who was enrolled in the Korean air force helped fly them out to an island near the tip of South Korea. There they were ensured safety.
During the trip, her mom was carrying her two year old sister and so she injured her back due to strenuous strain. When my mom was in elementary school, she passed away but she was recognized as a strong individual who cared for others.
South Korean troops and allies from around the world should be recognized as heroes who risked their lives. They risked their lives to ensure the safety of future generations including me.
Of course this is a short summary as my grandma has vivid memories on certain details. But this was the first time that she had told some significant details and facts that even my mom has never heard before. So I personally believe that it’s important to save this so it can be shared and as an act of remembrance.