Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Two Steve's

Being a foreigner, many, but far from all, people try to manipulate you for their own purposes. In developing countries, it is often for money or influence. In developed countries, people sometimes befriend you solely to practice their English. I have become so leery of, well, everything.

Yesterday we were out in an area really popular with high school and university students when we happened upon this enormous display of photos with text to never forget the enormous sacrifice that 68 countries made to help South Korea in the Korean war. The pictures and text were both touching and informative. I left the exhibit feeling in awe of these men.

Then, the other Steve came to visit. The guy who questions why he has never seen a display of any sort of appreciation for the sacrifice of foreigners to protect this country, not even at the DMZ, but now there is a prominent one. There are some displays, but I have not seen them even though I have looked.  The guy who wonders about the timing since there is no celebration or remembrance of the Korean war on this weekend. The guy who feels compelled to research the group and finds no site, no mention of them. The guy who notices a bunch of US military walking around. The guy who realizes that there are a lot US military walking around because of the joint operations being held in the seas around Korea.

The first guy wants to believe the timing of the show is a coincidence or killing two birds with one stone..a genuine effort to educate the young. The second one feels it is an effort to manipulate the rank and file US military that people in Korea are really thankful for the sacrifice US men made in the past, and may be asked to do again. BTW this feeling, while true for the elderly, is absent from the young I have asked about it.

It depends on the day which Steve is the one in it is the less jaded one.

1 comment:

Diane said...

The two Steve's, that explains a lot. Wish I could say which one I liked...better. Unfortunately, I don't think the lack of history, understanding and thankfulness (or lack thereof) is limited to Korea.
Your mentor,
Deer in headlights