2020: ‘No Gun Ri’

KNCC. 15. - 25 Juni 2020

‘No Gun Ri’

Tom Kennedy, Veterans of Peace, USA

The infamous site where 400 South Koreans were massacred by US troops in the 1950 American war in Korea.

I was one of a five-member ‘Veterans For Peace’ delegation sent to South Korea in support of an effort to prevent the Eviction of farmers from their land taken from them for a U.S. base expansion. . .

We stand in a circle looking down – at the bullet ridden wall – the entrance to the train tunnel. That goes through the village of No Gun Ri – Our hosts include a retired South Korean General. He wants us to know about this place — what happened? A small altar of flowers and pictures shows some of the children and mothers who died here 60 years ago.

Among our small group of about ten is a humble woman – who cries silent to herself. She was a nine year old girl – who watched in horror – as all those around her went down In a hail of bullets from machine guns and planes that strafed the entrance and into the railroad tunnel – earlier soldiers had told theme to go there for safety.

She speaks to us softly and pleadingly so we might understand the impossible. Her parents and siblings are dying – amid the noise and screaming and impacts of missiles of death. She gets up and looks at her dead family, but her left eye has fallen out of her head – holding in her hand.

Sixty years later – I go – hold her in my arms – this nine year old girl – as if to apologize – on our behalf the “Veterans for Peace.”

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