Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011 (Seoul, Korea)

PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE: I don't know if many tourists get there, but Sandy and I were very happy to have gotten over to The War Memorial of Korea.
Our appreciation of the exhibits in the museum itself was hindered by our profound lack of knowledge of Korean language and history, although we honestly liked exhibits such as the intriguing Turtle Ship. But our appreciation for the significance of the memorial was keen, especially regarding the Korean War. The setting offers plenty of peace and quiet for prayer (right). Much-bigger-than-life statuary dominates the foreground of the museum. We liked The Brothers (above). It's a poignant symbol of the Korean War. The description posted near the installation puts it this way: "The upper part of the statue depicts a scene where a family's older brother, a ROK officer, and his younger brother, a North Korean soldier, meet in a battlefield and express reconciliation, love, and forgiveness." The fact that the ROK soldier outranks and is older than the soldier from the North is probably unimportant. It's still a moving image. What hugs remain in the future?

REMEMBERED, AND TREASURED: A large part of the memorial was devoted to the many thousands who died in the Korean War, fighting for the ROK or on behalf of the United Nations (meaning, for the most part, the United States). As we walked by the plaques, we came across the panels that included names of American dead. Workers were applying beeswax to the surface of the plaques to help protect the names from the elements (above). One of the workers told me they do it every four years.
When we came to the Connecticut listings we spotted the entry for Lt. Peter Bowen Richardson of Woodstock, a relative (right). It's a tough thing to look at. I had met his dad and know his sister. He was the nephew of Dorothy Richardson Lincoln, whose work with World War One blind soldiers has garnered my attention. While it was sobering to gaze on the name, it was some comfort to know that officials at the memorial are doing what they can to preserve the memory of each soldier and present them in a moving setting.

STILL WORKING THE CHOPSTICKS: Sandy snuck this photo while we had lunch today at the Grand Hyatt. The meal was a delightful Hainanese chicken, with a trio of sauces for mixing. I think they were chilli, mustard and soy. We hadn't used chopsticks for a while, but, like riding a bicycle, it all came back quickly. it was a welcome meal after an overnight flight from Singapore [during which I watched part of Anthony Zimmer, the movie that inspired The Tourist. Zimmer, while less flashy, less visual, less star-studded--and less costly--seemed preferable.] I don't look so good in this photo. Bear in mind that this was taken BEFORE my haircut and facial.

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