Odyssey to Visit Korean War Memorials in all 50 States Begins Amid Peace Summits
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — On Friday, April 27, 2018, Hannah Y Kim, a former congressional aide with a mission, will be traveling to all 50 States throughout America, to visit a Korean War Memorial in more than 70 cities, from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, in 90 days, beginning April 27 to July 27 (National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day).
The purpose of her ambitious three-month journey is to honor and remember those who served in the so-called “Forgotten War” (1950-53), and to help promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Given the recent breakthroughs in the region today, her mission could not be timelier.
This odyssey mirrors her worldwide odyssey of last year, traveling around the world to visit Korean War Memorials and document the stories of Korean War veterans across six continents in a total of 27 countries that participated in the Korean War — including those that fought on the opposite side, China, Russia and even North Korea.
“The Korean War Veterans are almost 90 years old and many are passing away each month,” said Kim. “During their youth, they volunteered and risked their lives to fight for a country they did not know and for people they had not met. They gave so much of themselves, their all, and I want to ensure their stories and sacrifices are not forgotten.”
Kim hopes that journey will raise awareness about the Wall of Remembrance, the long-overdue addition to the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Wall was approved by Congress in 2016, but a lack of funding has delayed its construction for two years. As a result, the names of the nearly 37,000 Americans who died in Korea are languishing to be inscribed for posterity.
“There were casualties in every state in the union, including the 8,000 still unaccounted for,” she stated. “I want to help all of America to understand and viscerally feel that “Freedom Is Not Free.”
Kim, an ambassadress for the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation and ad hoc representative of the Korean War Veterans Association, has their official endorsement.
Retired Col. James R. Fisher, National Executive Director, of both organizations, said of their ambassadress; “I have had the privilege and honor of knowing and working with Ms. Hannah Kim since 2007. I have never met anyone who is more dedicated to thanking and honoring our Korean War Veterans and their families for their service to our country. For more than ten years she has devoted her time and energy to ensure the price for freedom and peace we enjoy today is not forgotten.”
“There could be no finer Ambassador to represent our Korean War Veterans than Ms. Kim. She should be commended for all the lives she has touched over the years,” he added.
Kim’s devoted activism on behalf of Korean War Veterans began in 2008, when she was a 24-year-old graduate student in Washington, D.C. and established Remember727, an organization dedicated to honoring veterans and promoting peace. She lobbied Congress to enact legislation, signed by President Obama in 2009, that established July 27 as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.
She subsequently worked for Congressman Charles B. Rangel, a decorated Korean War veteran, as his communications director and later as his chief of staff. When Congressman Rangel retired in 2017, Kim embarked on her epic journey of 55,000 miles around the world, in which she interviewed 200 Veterans to memorialize their stories. In Italy, she interviewed the last remaining Korean War Veteran in the country.
“Meeting them in person has only strengthened my commitment towards my Korean War veteran Grandpas and resolve to keep hope alive for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” stated Kim. “I hope that the upcoming Peace Summit will eventually lead to the signing of a Peace Treaty when I conclude my journey at the National Korean War Memorial.”
Kim famously calls all Korean War Veterans as her ‘Grandpas,’ because as she tells them: “If you hadn’t fought in Korea, I wouldn’t be here.”
She will travel around the US to thank her ‘Grandpas’ mostly by ground transportation, driving from site to site on her self-funded journey, with the help of donations on her GoFundMe page.
Kim’s ambitious quest to visit Korean War veterans and Korean War memorials in all 50 states kicked off with a motorcycle ride down CA Highway 126 — the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway — to the Korean War Memorial in Santa Paula, California on April 14.
Her first stop in the list of 70 memorials, is San Francisco’s Presidio on April 28.
Please see the following website for her full itinerary: www.remember727.org.
Remember 727 is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring veterans of the “Forgotten War” and promoting peace in Korea.