Editor’s Note: The following is a short article from Arirang (A Korean Media Outlet) about the Ethiopian Heroes that fought and shed blood for South Korea along with solders from several other nations including United States, United Kingdom and South Africa. In honor of the 60th Anniversary of The Korean War, let’s take time to acknowledge the Heroes who shed blood for the sake of freedom.
Source, Arirang: Living in the small Ethiopian village of Addis Ketema an 80-year-old Korean War veteran, Negatu Mekuria, still keeps the medals that he received following the war and the photographs he took almost 60 years ago.
Mekuria is among 6-thousand Ethiopian soldiers who shed blood for a small country in East Asia called Korea.
[Interview : Negatu Mekuria
Korean War veteran] “When I came back from the Korean War, I received four Order of Military Merits from the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.
But the Korean War veterans who returned home to Ethiopia ended up paying a dear price for their service years later. When the socialists took over the country in 1974 they were persecuted for fighting against its ally, communist North Korea. Most of them were abandoned by the government and their lives became extremely downtrodden and difficult. They are refused hospital treatment even when they are deathly ill or starving to death. But recently, a group of missionaries started to build homes for the war veterans. However, a lack of financial support is hindering their efforts.
[Interview : Park Jong-guk,
Korean Missionary in Ethiopia] “The most important thing is to provide better living conditions for the war veterans. They are living in a very poor environment. They probably have five to ten years left and it is important to make sure that these war veterans, who fought for South Korea, are able to enjoy a better life.”
Ethiopians reached out their hands when Koreans were desperate for help six decades ago.
Now it is Korea’s turn to help these former war heroes to make sure their sacrifices are never forgotten.
Kim Na-ri, Arirang News.