Hannah Y Kim, a Korean American woman with a mission, will be traveling to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the final stops in her Journey to thank and interview veterans of the Korean War (1950-1953). She is searching for the last remaining Irish and Welshmen who fought in the so-called “Forgotten War.”
Kim, who is the former chief of staff to a US Congress member, and the official Ambassadress of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation USA, has previously traveled across six continents to 27 countries that participated in the Korean War — including China, Russia and even North Korea. In the UK, Kim visited Scotland and England, where she met with members of the British Korean War Veterans Association, including William Speakman-Pitt, VC, who was the first person to receive the Victoria Cross from Queen Elizabeth II. She has also met with veterans in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales are the only three countries Kim has yet to visit during her worldwide odyssey, in which she’s visited a memorial in each country and documented the stories of 200 veterans.
“When I discovered the unknown stories of the Irish and Welsh veterans, especially of those who died in Korea, I knew I had to go to their homelands and pay tribute,” said Kim, who will be visiting memorials in Dublin, Mayo, Belfast and Cardiff from August 13-20, 2019.
Few people know that 32 Welsh died fighting in Korea (as part of the Commonwealth), as well as 159 people of Irish heritage (from both sides of the Border as part of the US/UK military) and 7 are still unaccounted for. In addition 7 Irish Columban priests, who could have fled Korea but chose to stay, were martyred at the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. Currently, there are less than 10 Irish and 10 Welsh Korean War veterans living today.
“These unsung heroes fought for a country they did not know and never returned home,” said Kim. “Those who survived are almost 90 years old and passing away. I want to thank them and ensure their stories and sacrifices are not forgotten.”
Kim’s Journey will culminate on August 24, 2019, in a visit to the Irish Korean War Memorial at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The memorial was built to honor 28 Irish-born soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their adopted country during the Korean War and who, on October 30, 2003, were made citizens of the United States by a Special Act of Congress.
Please contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org to join her at the memorials.
Hannah Y Kim’s devoted activism to honor Korean War Veterans began in 2008 when she established Remember727 at the age of 24. Kim lobbied Congress to enact legislation, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, which established July 27 as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day in the United States. In addition to visiting 27 countries that participated in the Korean War, she also traveled to all 50 US states and four US territories to visit more than 100 Korean War Memorials and thank 1000 American Korean War Veterans.