The war between South and North Korea took place between 25th May 1950 and 27th July 1953. It resulted from the political division of the larger Korea based on an agreement by the victorious allies at the end of World War II. Tension had mounted in Korea as a result of flawed elections. The country was divided along the 38th parallel with the US forces in the South and Soviet forces occupying the North (William 23). Though efforts were made towards unifying the two regions, the war broke out when the North invaded the South. A UN Security Council Resolution was passed sanctioning the use of military intervention in Korea. It ended on the 27th of July 1953 after the signing of the armistice agreement that established a border near the 38th parallel creating a demilitarized zone. The impact of the war was severe, and it was estimated that between 3 million people and 4 million people either lost their lives, were missing or wounded.
These acts of invasion and counter invasions were seen as a human violation that caught the attention of other friendly countries that supported either of the side. The war was bloody leaving a trail of destructions on properties (William 23). Most families were separated from their loved ones. This led to a high level of family disintegration as they lost touch with each other while trying to escape in an attempt to avoid being casualties of the war.
As a victim of the Korean War, the aftermath has being heavy with adverse effects on me as a person and my family in general. I lost my grandfather through an air raid. He was actively involved in the war, and as he was coming back home from the war fields, his plane was confused with that of an enemy plane and consequently shot down. He died instantly, and his body was burnt beyond recognition. This experience had adverse effects on my larger family as the family’s figure head was no more alive. Roles had to be changed, and someone had to step forward to fill in the gap that was left vacant by the demise of my grandfather. My father had to take up the challenge as he was the eldest son.
Wars have generally been associated with nasty experiences like loss of family members through death while some disappearing never to be found. The presence of war, therefore, makes one develop internal defensive instincts over her/his family ties. They take action that they consider in the best interest of the family. My father had to take up the challenge of being the figure head. The Korean culture dictates that once a man dies, his eldest son takes up the responsibility of caring for the family (William 23). The experience of the war changed my father’s attitude and opinion about family. He developed the urge of bringing up a family that is all tied together, loves each other and works together with a common goal of promoting personal and family relationships. This he found to be helpful in avoiding the ugly situations which may cause a drift and the occurrence of something horrible like fights and disagreements. Therefore knowing the values of bringing unity among family members, is a fundamental platform of developing family values, which will not only develop outstanding personality but also achieve profound love for each family member.
My father took up the challenge of finding safer areas where he could bring his children in a peaceful environment. He decided to travel to the US where together with my mother they established a life for us. With time, he had to bring along my grandmother who had remained in Korea. The environment and culture of the American people were totally new to her. Everything differed from the things she was used to back in Korea. There were a lot of conflicting elements in the manner that people related in the US. People tend to be carefree, and the situation is such that one is only concerned more with his/her immediate family. This contradicts the culture in Korea that stressed on the importance of good family ties. Communal events were carried out to foster such bonds. My grandmother, realizing these disparities on the cultural set up, decided to instill the teachings of the Korean culture in us. She taught us the need to foster good relations among the members of the family. Her definition of a family is broad based and includes the extended family (William 23). She strongly believes that for peace and harmony to exist in any society, people must embrace each other. At first we found her ideas to be somehow backward, but with time I came to realize the benefits of such a culture. She believed in absolute obedience on the part of children and made it her personal responsibility to instill discipline in us. This, she claimed, would ensure that we grow morally upright in line with the moral dictates of our Korean culture.
Even though I do not have a clear mastery of the Korean culture, I have come to appreciate it since the moral teachings that were instilled in me by my grandmother have ensured that I grow up in a manner that is desirable to her, the family and the general public. Her intentions were influenced by the experience she had of the Korean War, and its effects that are felt up to now. I am not able to live in my native land and learn its culture. This has led to cultural erosion in me as I am brought up in a totally new environment. Therefore, through my grandmother, I have been able to adopt certain Korean cultural aspects.
In conclusion, it is important to know your past and its connections or events that took place as they define your personality and nature. Therefore, past will generate disciplines and experience that will help one to understand the cause or the effects of a past event. He will concern himself with the effects the events have on the society. A person’s past is a teaching or a knowledgeable field that guides his/her future undertaking (William 23). This has manifested itself to me through my father and grandmother who have the experience of the Korean War and its effects. It has enabled them to teach me the basic principles of understanding of my past; making me the person I am right now, caring, loving and understanding. Knowing my past, and the events that led to it, has made me appreciate the fact that an individual is shaped by the experiences he/she goes through in life, avoiding the occurrence of such events in the future.