If God asked me what was my wish, I would reply unhesitatingly, “Korean independence.” If he asked me what was my second wish, I would again answer, “My country’s independence.” If he asked me what was my third wish, I would reply in an even louder voice, “My wish is the complete independence of my country, Korea.”
– Kim Gu, 1879 – 1949
It is so easy to lose grip when times are tough and just so easy to lose hope. As I fight my own internal struggles and questions, I am reminded of this unfathomable faith that exists for a unified Korea on the International Forum for One Korea, especially from an old green army plane, C-47.
The plane has a significant history. It is the same model Kim Gu and the exiled members of the Provisional Government of Korea used to return to Korea while also advocating for a unified Korea and one election for both the North and the South in 1945.
The memorial is called “Unfinished Journey,” which is very significant and symbolic of the efforts made to achieve this higher dream of a unified Korea. Now, decades later, his will is carried forward by hundreds and thousands of people gathered around for the cause of a unified One Korea.
While one might get fatigued after almost 78 years of division, and while it might seem for the dream of unification to be at a distance, the continued efforts, the hope, and the people gathered here give me a sense of positivity and energy both for the unification and for my internal struggles.
Global Peace Foundation Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, in his keynote speech at the forum, recalls the efforts of his father and his grandfather for One Korea. He asserts that he inherited his family’s legacy and says, “I wrote the Korean Dream to revive the spirit of our ancestors and to bring to fruition the unfulfilled hopes that they lived and died for. It stands as a monument of our filial devotion to their noblest ideals and a pledge to see them fulfilled in our lifetimes.”
The ideals of Hongik Ingan, the Korean Declaration of Independence, Kim Koo and the freedom fighters, the Forum, and the people gathered from all over the world have given me something precious, something rare and powerful.
Personally, all these conversations, people, and the Korean Dream have given me a sense of faith and courage to fight my own internal struggle. Most of all, it has made me hopeful in the face of challenges and believe in the power of dreaming big.
No matter if some journeys are left unfinished, the will, the dream, and the legacy carry on far beyond one lifetime, and that is beautiful and powerful. So is the Korean Dream.
Read more about the International Forum on One Korea: Free and Unified Korea