Unification News for November 2003
In Memoriam Kwan Jung
Dear Kwan Jung
I just want you to know that I will always remember you. You helped me grow as a person and taught me a lot about myself. You were a very wise and humble person and contributed so much to everyone. In skateboarding, you were always one step ahead of me and consistently got better. That helped me to push myself harder and become better too. You, Gary and I were team AAA and had a lot of good times skating together. You are the best person that I have ever known and my best friend. You were always there when I needed someone to talk to or do something with. You had a great sense of humor and never complained about anything. If I did not have you as a friend, I would be lost right now. You influenced me so much. You were a straight A student and never stopped working. I saw that in you and wanted to be more like you. You were a good influence on me.
We shared so many times together: morning skate sessions, video game sleepovers, so many activities, too many to even start to write about.
You are the big brother I never had. You were even closer than a brother because siblings pick on each other. I looked up to you so much. You had a very big impact on my life. I remember when we would play 21 with Kwan Soo at your church; and we always got creamed by him. Those were fun times. And when you came over at 6 am to watch the world cup with me.
You helped me get in touch with the Korean side. You were my first Korean friend and helped me learn about the food and culture, thanks; it means so much to me!!!
Out of our group of friends, you were the leader. People looked to you when a decision was to be made. I will always remember you!!!
When you left here for the first time, I realized how great our friendship was. Prior to that day, I don’t think I have ever cried about a friend leaving me before. Even though I knew I was supposed to see you after the year you were to be gone, it still tore me apart to know that we would be apart for even just a year. Not until then, did I realize you were not only my best friend, but also you were one of the most incredible people I have ever met.
You were talented with music, skateboarding, and had such good humor. You had such a pure nature and were so unbelievably kind to people around you; it was admirable. I will never forget how you would joke around by saying, " I’m a giver." The fact is, you were. I can not express how much I appreciate and am thankful for all of the times you have helped me, given me rides, bought me food, and all. When you left the second time, I could not believe it. As with everybody, I completely denied it. It’s just so hard because we never expect our close friends to leave us forever in an instant; especially when we talked just a week ago.
Each time I got a call from you, each time I heard your voice, I would be happy just to hear what was on your mind. Just a few days ago, my roommate’s friend called within the array of phone calls I was receiving from everybody and I swear it was you who said "hey" when I picked up the phone. Even though I have read the reports and have heard from Kwan Soo, I still believed for that moment that you were OK. Even though you are gone, I still wish everyday for your safety, comfort, and happiness.
Kwan, I cannot express how much I miss you and how much I hope you have found happiness and contentment within your life. It is so beyond belief that you are gone. I still cannot find words to express how inconceivable this news is to all of us.
I really hope that before you passed away, you could come to the realization that you had a fulfilling life with a group of friends and family that love you, respect you, and admire you. If there is an afterlife, I really hope you are in the right place. The latest email I received from you ended with the words " We will meet again.
Someday Kwan, I really hope we do. Until then, goodbye, my friend; rest in peace.
I can remember Kwan Jung from all those Sundays we had sitting in the basement of our church center here in Minneapolis with all the rest of the older Minnesota BCs. We would be listening to the wise words of our Sunday school teacher, whoever it happened to be that week.
He always seemed so devoted and attentive during church services and other gatherings, even if he was sitting in the very back. I always respected him and gave him a lot of credit ever since I knew him, but I never really understood quite why. He seemed to give off a certain vibe that made me want to sit down and pay attention to what our lecturers had to say. He was a dutiful son for his father and mother, both highly respected people. Kwan Jung was someone I was comfortable having my younger brothers look up to, and they really did look up to him. I could see it in their eyes, the way the looked at him or watched him that they truly respected and loved Kwan Jung as an older brother.
I remember all the BC guys from here hanging around the front of the church watching Kwan Jung skate and trying to mimic him, however unsuccessful they were. He was so incredibly talented, I'm sure many people were jealous of him because he had so much going for him.
Kwan Jung didn't get enough time here with all of us; he shouldn't have had to die yet; I just know it wasn't the right time, he was so young. But, then I think about it, and I just know he's in a much better place than here. He's with people that love him and want the best for him, even though we were always here supporting him. We want him to be safe no matter where he'll be or who he'll be with.
I"m always going to remember him as my good friend and older brother, because that's exactly what he was. Kwan Jung, we"ll miss you incredibly and you will forever be in the hearts of us all. We love you; have a safe and happy journey. Best regards,
I knew Kwan Jung and his family for 10 years. I remember when we first met, I really felt glad I could meet him and Kwan Soo, who were my age in Minnesota. In Minnesota there aren't a lot of BC's my age. The time they stayed at the church center I taught a little English to them. I always had so much fun with them, often staying overnight on Fridays. We'd always compete in video games. We shared a lot of experiences all together.
As we were young I always remembered he'd love playing with kids, and always related with them so well. I treated him as my own brother and really loved him as someone so close to me. It wasn't just Kwan Soo and I who were close, I felt Kwan Jung was part of my family. His mother (whom I'd always call e-mo, which means aunty) was very good friends with my mother. They'd always hang out and talk and I would always hear them laughing about something.
So our families really respected each other and loved each other genuinely. I remember the small arguments I had with Kwan Jung; they are still very precious to me because those arguments got us closer. Just to know I could have some kind of experience with him, I can now appreciate a million times more. I was, in a way, always so amazed with this kid. He had strong sense of righteousness inside him; he'd always strive to be good. He had such strong characteristics of spirit, physical energy as well being strong emotionally.
He was very athletic and loved playing sports. He was a phenomenal student. He studied like there was no tomorrow everyday, as well as practicing piano and violin. He had a beautiful natural talent for music. I always enjoyed hearing him play the piano, and this always reminds me of his peaceful nature within him. I remember one deep discussion we had together, and he expressed how he felt about certain issues and I can really see how much love he had for his parents and truly loved his brother.
He cared about how his family could get better and tried to be someone who can bring unity within his family. Even though I deeply regret not being involved more in his life, I can never forget the wonderful experiences we had together as I reminisce about our family together.
Kwan Jung was not just a genuinely good kid, he wasn't just my friend, he wasn't just my brother, he went way above that; he was the saint of this world. And I can see that more and more everyday as I think about him. I love him and will never forget him, and will wait for the day I can meet with my brother once again. Thank you.
Kwan Jung is probably one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I got to know him quite well and became really close to him during the two conditions we were together.
I got to know him a lot during the fundraising runs, just sharing our personal lives with each other with an open heart. I saw that Kwan had a pure heart, and only wanted to do the right thing. Of course none of us are without flaws, but Kwan seemed to be trying a lot harder to do the right thing than many of us try. Even though he acted joyful and silly on the outside much of time, I gained much respect for him from knowing his internal side, which was pure and strong.
Kwan could always make you laugh, whether it was from his little made up phrases, his highly awkward dance techniques, from the wrongly pronounced grocery store names, or his beautiful singing of Queen or Celine Dion songs. Yeah, he liked to sing, and always wanted to learn new songs. Kwan and I had some good singing times. I taught him a few Disney songs, and he wouldn't stop asking me for the lyrics until he got the whole thing. He even wrote down the lyrics to Part of Your World, so he could learn and read from it. I remember that we were singing "Go Distance" from Hercules during the runs to keep positive and enthusiastic.
Those were some good times that I will always remember. If I wrote about everything, this would be an entire book. But the singing was definitely the most memorable experience. " To Love You More" by Celine Dion was our song; we sang it all the time, people were probably annoyed. Don't ask why that was our song, it just was. Queen was one of his favorite groups and he always sang their songs; we couldn't help but join in.
So I will remember that Kwan as the Great singing Queen machine, or maybe just as Kwan, my wonderful brother.
The first day I met Kwan Jung Lee was when I was thirteen and our family just moved into the unification Church center in Minnesota. My first impression of Kwan Jung was how remarkably talented he was in music, sports and studies. Everything he did seemed amazing to my eyes and quickly he became something like a role model to me.
Eventually Kwan and I did everything together for that one year. I could go to school with him, attend the same class, take piano lessons, and do home work together. Kwan and I were the only BC’s our age and we became very close.
Even later on, when we went our separate ways, I can never forget the friendship we had for that one year. There are two words that can really describe Kwan Jung's character: they are filial piety and determination. Kwan's nature wasn't rebellious like most kids I know; and although it was hard for him, he could possess a filial heart to want to fulfill his parent's utmost desires. Many times teachers appreciated Kwan's ability to unite in mind and heart to the teacher's directions. He could also show an attitude of respect and love to anyone elder than himself, like an obedient Cain.
When Kwan was determined to get things done, he could finish it by investing his utmost in the shortest amount of time. If I ever had hard time with math homework, he could quickly finish his homework first, and then spend time helping me with my homework, even as late as 12:00 at night.
As boys, one thing I remember was that we were very aggressive kids. We loved wrestling each other so much, we had to go to school and investigate wrestling matches with other kids. When no kids wanted to fight, we had to resort to wrestle each other for several rounds.
Kwan Jung also had a beautiful sensitive side to him. He loved God and True Parents so much. Kwan clearly understood what was vertically acceptable to God and what wasn't. Even at age of 13 his conscience was very strong and many times he chose the right over wrong. No one had to tell him to do anything, because he knew what was right from the very start and acted accordingly. I believe that Kwan Jung will be missed by everyone here, especially those closest to him. The absence of such a high quality person from our lives is like taking most of the air out of our lungs. The memory of Kwan Jung Lee will be in my heart forever and it will always be this way. As long as I believe Kwan Jung is doing great things for God and True Parents in Spirit World, I can be ultimately grateful for today.
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