"Happy Memorial Day" is not the most appropriate expression to use. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and honor for those who have died while serving in the armed forces of the United States. It is a solemn occasion meant to commemorate the sacrifices made by servicemen and servicewomen.
Memorial Day holds a special place in my heart, as it reminds me of the deep appreciation I have for the soldiers who selflessly gave their lives during the War. Having lived in Korea, I was exposed to the stories and the immense gratitude the nation felt toward these brave individuals. Even as an immigrant in the United States, Memorial Day continues to be a day of reflection and reminder, where I can't help but acknowledge the sacrifices made by soldiers and their impact on our lives. This year, I commemorated this day with acquaintances, and the experience further reinforced my gratitude.
During my time in Korea, the tales of the Korean War were always present. The sacrifices made by soldiers for their country were deeply ingrained in the collective memory of the Korean people. The gratitude I felt towards these fallen heroes was profound and everlasting. Their unwavering dedication and ultimate sacrifice to protect their homeland left an indelible mark on me, instilling in me a profound respect for the life of a soldier.
As an immigrant to the United States, my perspective on Memorial Day has evolved, blending my experiences from both countries. In America, Memorial Day is unique—a day to honor and remember those who have given their lives while serving in the U.S. military. It's a time when the nation comes together to commemorate the bravery and sacrifices of these courageous individuals.
This year, I had the privilege of celebrating Memorial Day with acquaintances, a diverse group representing the melting pot of the United States. The spirit of unity and gratitude was palpable as we gathered to honor the fallen soldiers. We shared stories, laughter, and, most importantly, a feast transcending borders. The opportunity to indulge in delicious food and the best coffee in the world, courtesy of a Romanian immigrant family, beautifully symbolized the multicultural tapestry that the United States embraces.
As we sat together, enjoying the moment, I couldn't help but reflect on the profound significance of the day. It was a testament to the sacrifices made by soldiers in Korea and the United States that we could revel in such joyous times. The freedom and happiness we experienced that day were made possible by the brave souls who fought for our nations, protecting the values we hold dear.
In my heart, gratitude surged for those who dedicated their lives to preserving our cherished liberties. Their sacrifice ensured we could pursue our dreams, build friendships, and celebrate life. Through their unwavering commitment and selflessness, we can enjoy the freedom to gather, share, and experience the happiness that Memorial Day represents.
Memorial Day serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by soldiers worldwide. As an immigrant with a deep respect for the military, this day holds immense meaning for me. Remembering the Korean War and celebrating Memorial Day in the United States, I am reminded of the interconnectedness of our lives and the profound impact soldiers have had on shaping our present. It is through their sacrifices that we have the opportunity to enjoy moments of joy, friendship, and celebration. Let us forever hold their memory close and express gratitude for their immeasurable service to our nations.
Myungja Anna Koh