The Words of the LaGrotteria Family

Peace Delegation Visits Korean War Veterans in Belgium

Frank LaGrotteria
April 7, 2007
Assistant Secretary General UPF-International

In its very first peacekeeping mission, the United Nations, responded to South Koreaís call for help after the North invaded the South on June 25th 1950. The "forgotten war" as itís often called, would eventually claim thousands upon thousands of lives and leave Korea a divided nation, ravaged by the war, broken and bleeding. Nevertheless, without UN intervention the situation would undoubtedly have been worse.

In 2004, fifty years after the end of the Korean War, Rev. Moon was inspired to make a way for Korea to express gratitude and respect to the fallen heroes, warriors of the UN Forces, and the war bereaved, thereby solidifying friendship with each country. To this end he created the Memorial Foundation.

The Foundationís first project was an international convention held July 25Ė30, 2005 in Seoul, Korea. 200 veterans and their families from the 16 nations that comprised the UN Forces attended. For half of the participants, it was their first return to Korea after the war. They expressed amazement at seeing South Korea's great development, the nation they once protected with their blood, sweat and tears.

The second major activity of The "Foundation" is its current world tour to those 16 nations. In this year of Father Moonís 88th birthday, he is sending Foundation delegations around the world, to say thank you and solidify friendships with associations of warriors in each country, many of whom are of a similar age.

UPF Assistant Secretary General Frank LaGrotteria joined the delegation that recently traveled to Belgium and participated in a memorial wreath laying ceremony and banquet to honor the soldiers and their families.

Dr. Dae Oh Son, the Memorial Foundationsí vice president, and representative of Father Moon, greeted the veterans with the following message:

Father Moon told me to tell you something. As you know, General MacArthur once said 'old soldiers never die, they just fade away.' But fade away to where? To the earth? To the water? To the air? No, human beings are not animals, or fundamentally the physical product of evolution.
Human beings are spiritual beings and will go to the spiritual world; to heaven when they die. Yes, we will fade away, but we fade away into the spiritual world where we can have a reunion someday. For now, Father Moon wants to thank you and God wants to thank you for liberating Korea.

Many awards were given and gifts exchanged. It was a joyous and festive day altogether. I myself was deeply impressed by the occasion. It once again confirmed to me that Father Moon is the consummate teacher and communicator of Godís heart.

Korea is a modern miracle. Imagine the world if South Korea had not been saved back then and Rev Moonís life had ended. You and I would not be here today, nor would the Ambassadors for Peace movement exist. Surely Father Moon, in reflecting and praying about these things, felt so deeply grateful in his heart with tears of appreciation and gratitude for those men who sacrificed and even gave their lives so that he might live.

Through this heart of gratitude he sought to thank them and appreciate their efforts. In addition, he used the occasion to educate them and remind them, and us, of our responsibility to protect freedom and condemn tyranny in all its forms. This is especially true at this very moment as Korea remains a divided nation; a lingering fruit of the cold war era.

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