Afghan Refugee Crisis Brings Back Memories of The Korean War

The Afghan Refugee camp
Via Pixabay

The Afghan Refugee situation is still unfolding. It is, however, reminiscent of another time in our country’s history. As we see refugees desperate to escape from violence and danger, it reminds us of the largest Wartime refugee evacuation in our history prior to Afghanistan. In 1950, 91,000 people were evacuated from Hungnam, a North Korean port, as part of an American-led naval operation. While it may seem long ago, those who were among the thousands rescued will never forget.

70-year-old Sohn Yang-young is one of those who likely would not be here today had the evacuation not taken place. His parents boarded the last ship to depart from the North-Korean coast with refugees. Sohn was one of five children to be born on that ship. While he cannot remember that day, it is a moment of great personal significance. Looking at the Afghan Refugee Crisis, Sohn can’t help but empathize. The same goes for Lee Kweng-pil who said “The Americans were our savior. Without them, my parents would not have survived the war and I would not be here.”

It is important to recognize the struggles and challenges of today’s refugees. It is equally important to remember the struggles and sacrifices of those who went before. An article from the New York Times explores the parallel between these two moments in history. Read the full story here. We are working to honor and give back to those who sacrificed during WW2 and Korea. We urge Congress to pass a bill we call The Greatest Generation Benefits Act. Learn more about this important effort here, and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.