Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Why We Remember and Why We Forget: Korea and Much More

6o years ago today, North Korean soldiers crossed the 38th parallel and began the Korean War – what has come to be called America’s Forgotten War. Oddly, by naming it the Forgotten War, it began to be remembered and that raises the larger questions of why we forget or remember events in our lives and in our history.
Do we forget because it’s too painful to recall? Perhaps it’s because the forgotten events simply have no meaningful place in our lives. After all, nothing is simply remembered for its own sake. With nothing to attach to in our ongoing lives, nothing can be remembered.
On the other hand, we are always free to create pegs in our current lives upon which to hang memories which we hope to preserve. But that just begs the question of why we feel compelled to create those pegs.
Ultimately memory is not simply a fact or reality, it is something to be created and pursued. And in many ways, so is forgetting. Which brings me back to Korea.


Why is it that a conflict that dragged on (why, by the way, do conflicts always “drag on”?) and ultimately costs 2 million lives, including the lives of 54 thousand US military personnel, went largely ignored and mostly forgotten for so many years? And why now are we returning to try and recall it with everything from national memorials to TV shows and books about “America’s Forgotten War”?
Could it be that with fewer and fewer WWII veterans around, we need new faces to fill out the picture of our nation’s past? Is it that the squeakiest wheel really does get the grease – that poised between the heroic victors of WWII and the angry voices about Viet Nam, the quiet soldiers who fought an ambiguous conflict with an ambiguous ending at a time when ambiguity was discouraged even more harshly than today, neither they nor we knew how to remember what happened?
Not only is memory an action, it is something we construct. We make choices not only about whether or not to remember, but the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of that which we recall. In fact, until we address the issues of what and how, it’s almost impossible to decide whether or not to recall something. So if we could not figure out in which conceptual box to place the war and its veterans, it was probably impossible to remember them.
Perhaps then there is a valuable lesson in remembering the Forgotten War. Perhaps the lesson is one which extends far beyond that historical event and into our own lives. Perhaps it’s about n\deciding to recall the little things, the quiet things, simply because they matter to us.
We should remember Korea neither because it was a marvelous victory over oppression, nor because in remembering we redress the challenges of a war that deeply divided our nation. We should remember Korea because of the human beings who fought and died there, whose lives were forever changed there.
In learning to remember the Korean War, we teach ourselves that people matter most and that the events of their lives should be recalled because we care about the people who lived them. It may have taken more than half a century to figure that out, but if that is the enduring lesson of learning to remember Korea, we will have learned much indeed.

  • withyobadself

    one of the options and maybe the only choice america has to restart the economy in the u.s.a is war… actually there is to many people in the world…world warIII is coming soon… to jump start the world economy… money is the golden calf of the world… GOD BLESS AMERICA so we can kill for greed…..greed is why all wars start…remember that…

  • Hector

    And instead of bullets, the USA should shoot all those ellipses that withyobadself likes to include in his ever-so-insightful posts.

  • stienbergmanham

    excuse you?

  • withyobadself

    the forgotten war and vietnam were not important wars like WWI and WWII are… what would happen to america if we lost the korean and vietnam war??? not much….the poloticians knew this…the korean war and vietnam war were started for profit… corporations got rich.. corporations gave money to poloticians….the more americans that got killed the more jobs became avaliable…GOD BLESS AMERICA…..

  • withyobadself

    the only reason america defends israel is… christians want to take over israel… christians from all around the world travel to israel to see the place were jesus walked…christians claim israel for themselves…poloticians are afraid to upset the christians because they need thier votes…if jesus walked in africa..america would be supporting africa…and not israel…ignorant people believe if all of the raghead countries saw israel was a democracy … ragheads would start wearing ball caps and cowboy hats just like the americians…no… watchout israel all these pro israelian christians are not your friends….christians believe israel belongs to your messiah that you killed….and israel belongs to the christians… maybe the jewish messiah of war will come and help the jews kill the christian… the romans never left israel they just call themselves christians now…

  • Gil

    YoYo goes to war again shooting off his mouth with bogus poop. Peace economy outpaces war economy hands down. For a simple comparison: tank vs car. Tank costs thousands of times more than the car, goes a few miles, farts out a shell, then is usually disabled and left for photo-ops by the locals. A car requires hundreds of civilian industries, requires maintenance, parts, service stations, refueling, and excursions to shopping malls and markets, theaters, concerts, museums, etc,etc. Employment, and economy goes up for the nation. It’s the difference between a healthy and sick man. The former working, active, earning a livelihood, the other unemployed,and draining the family and social resources. The gulf war entailed the use of super-sonic jet fighters to fly over hunkered down royal guard Iraqis to strafe them on the sand. A WWII fighter plane could have easily accomplished the job at a fraction of the cost. As to YoYo’s concept of history and religion there goes more blathering trash. First Jesus was not the Jew’s messiah – in my former blogs I pointed out the stupidity of this statement – Jesus denied that he came to bring peace ” I’ve come to set son at variance with father, and father at variance with son.” When Peter mistakenly thought otherwise – Jesus chided him stating: “Get behind me ye devil – for you know not why I have come.” As to Christians supporting Israel – there are many reasons – first Christianity is at war with Islam – if only 10% look at the Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i, atheist, as Kafirs, and must either be converted or beheaded- you are dealing with 160 million radicals who would soon as set off a bomb in your crowd as look at you. American Christians would rather aid and support a democratic nation who is their ally and has a history of doing so in the past. In Christian fundamental belief the Jews’ reestablishing Israel will bring the advent of the 2nd coming of their Lord and Savior. The surviving Jew is proof positive to the believing Christian that the Old Testament is valid – “I will bless those who bless ye – and curse those that curse ye.” ” I will remember your people to the thousandth generation.” Since the New Testament is based on the Old Testament – and given some of the aforementioned reasons – one could reasonably understand American as well as others supporting a viable Israel (a land occupying 1/10th of 1% of all the land in the middle east. What truly amazes me is that fools such as YoYo, and the pathetic U.N. which brings up more vile accusations and sanctions vs Israel on a weekly basis than scores of other nations and regions such as N.Korea, Libya, Dar fur, and other despotic nations too numerous to mention – including regional groups such as Hamas, and ritualistic honor killings among Muslims, Hutu, Tutsi, etc, etc. YoYo and his brethren are too pig headed to attempt to enlighten. Of course he is fearful of enlightenment – reminds him too much of Lucifer.

  • withyobadself

    beautiful gil..helping the economy wouldnt be the number one reason for going to war with say north korea… the number one reason for war would be … profit for the corporations … who are best buddys with the politicians….everyone in america would be told… war is necessary… 100,000 americans would die.. 100,000 jobs would open up.. if the iraq war would have went well and quick… george bush would have went to war with north korea … just for profit for the corporations.. america doesnt need israel land … to get to the muslims… america will be able to kill any one they choose… the reason why america supports israel is because all the christians of the world believe israel belongs to the christians… and the christians believe all jews will go to hell… lucifer spoke to me when i was younger and told me im his brother…look up RAELIANS on your computer … god also speaks to me…

  • Nancy6

    Life indeed is a series of memories. In a world now with instant communication and information overload – I sometimes forget where I have put my car keys – and when we as Americans per our government are now at war – why? in Afganhistan? – there is so much fear generated – it almost seems that Al Ghaida (sp?) has won – why do we have to live in constant fear? Fear precludes memory – stress precludes memory – and then people go back to generalizations and prejudice – it becomes easier. One of my early memories is of my cousin who is now fighting for his life because of cancer fought in the Korean war and was shot down from a fighter jet. Let us never forget our war fighters, but when can we ever learn from them that peace is the greater issue to keep fighting for.

  • Gil

    YoYo kindly gather your thoughts in a logical, sequential order before you blog. You begin with :”Helping the economy wouldn’t be the number one reason for going to war – and then you type the number one reason for going to war would be profit for the corporations. Number one – we live and thrive in a capitalistic, democratic society, with corporations, – not a souk {casbah} or street peddler economic society. When corporations make money – they are forced to expand – hire more employees, pay double taxes, which helps build the infrastructure of the country. We the people invest in these corporations, purchase stocks, bonds , debentures, notes, and various investment trusts, 401Ks, retirement plans, social security, and countless other benefits from a corporate economic society. You can always regress to a barter or hunter-gatherer society if you wish. Of course every economic system requires checks and balances – but as various systems go – most of us benefit from this system. People risk their lives every day attempting to flee their countries and enter the U.S.A. As to your association with Raelians – I agree that you are derailed and need to be deprogrammed from your cult delusions.

  • withyobadself

    gil … you just said what i was saying but you didnt realize it…. by go to war for profit for the corporations… money trickles down to the people…..politicians get thierselves elected in the white house…only to help the very rich first … politicians get paid off by corporations… to pass laws to allow as little regulation as possible..GOD BLESS AMERICA…obama is trying to make things fair for everyone…the very rich is trying to stop him….tea baggers are backwards ignorant people who are not rich… who need others to think for them… those who have the power in this world will never let go of it….children of god involved in the world.. drift further away from god…. the space people are going to land in israel and bring peace to the world… the space people are going to claim they created man… that thier leader is god… the space people are really lucifer and his fallen angels… I bet your beautiful arent you??? I can tell…

  • withyobadself

    i meant to say… by going to war for profit for the corporations…money trickles down to the people.. i wish this web site had some kind of spell checker

  • withyobadself

    gil …when peter ask jesus if the messsiah came to bring peace….. what peter really was saying is…jesus lets go to war with the romans and get our land back….. politicans today always use peace as the reason to go to war…jesus didnt die on the cross because it would allow us to finally be able to talk to god without having a jewish priest in a tire shaped black hat slaughter a goat…jesus died on the cross… to show people that when someone wants to kill you… just let them…love your enemy… turn the other cheek…and what people are afriad to believe because of manmade christian religion is… jesus is not the only way to god…god was and is always there… and wants you to tell him you love him… ALL RELIGION WAS MADE BE MAN…to control people by keeping god away from people…GOD IS EVERYWHERE AND EVERYTHING…YOU NEVER NEEDED A RELIGION TO TALK TO HIM…

  • Abambagibus

    Overwhelmingly more and more of America’s youth of self-indulgence care less and less about the history of the base of their indulgence, thus ensuring the ever nearing actuality of destroying their access to the freedoms of the pleasures they so love. To paraphrase a thinker of note, those who care nothing for history are condemned to repeat it. Would it be better to go back to the drawing board?

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!   ...

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated ...

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often ...

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center ...

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 ...

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.