Wednesday, October 08, 2003

From the Annual Meeting of the Association of the US Army
Nothing like a good visit with the Army's annual convention to be reminded of a whole lot of history. General Sullivan's opening remarks called to mind the critical point in history at which we stand today. A presentation by actors and multimedia from the Old Guard took us from Paul Revere's ride warning Americans of the British march, to WWII and the events of 2001 and today.

Then there was the award to General Paik Sun Yup, of the Army of the Republic of Korea:

Fifty years past, he stood with his beaten, exhausted, devastated troops on a ridge. Having lost their Capital, and much of their country; their backs were against the Pacific Ocean. Racing to address them, he said, "Men, there is no where else to retreat. If we quit now, the enemy will take our country, and there will be no more Republic of Korea.

"Look there. The Americans are tired, exhausted, yet they fight.

"I will lead you forward. If I turn back, shoot me." [animated map ]

That was fifty years ago, and he has since spent his life - giving up so many of the good, comfortable things of life - to serve and represent his country in its capital and in 19 nations around the world. [Paik bio | Korea50 site]

There were, too, great presentations from soldier leaders who made history this year: freeing, protecting and helping the people of Iraq. You rarely hear their stories on the news. I didn't get to hear near enough from them.

Finally, we had lots of great discussions with people working hard to tell more of our history to more of our students and countrymen [countrypersons?]. Both the National Museum of the US Army, and the Army Heritage and Education Center are moving forward in their capital and devlopment campaigns.

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