Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Return to the Korean Friendship Bell, post restoration.

As you may know, I have made several visits to this memorial, a gift from the people of the Republic of Korea to our nation, made in 1976. My previous visits with the exception of the last two were not celebrations by no means, due to the horrible shape that the memorial had been allowed to fall into by our governments that were involved in its’ care and upkeep. I blogged about the
outrage complete with photographs and videos and a cleanup was made. I am sure that I was not the only one who protested over the memorial’s condition either.

This blogger is not here to settle scores or try to rock the boat, but will shout from the rooftops over what seems to be an outrage being done by design or neglect. After seeing the cleanup effort performed and receiving assurances that there would be more in the future, I moved on.

Can you imagine my surprise when my brother emailed me news that the memorial had been restored and that the mayor was in a video showing the work done. What? I didn’t have the foggiest notion that this had happened. Today, I finally got the chance to go down and check it out.

I am going to put up a bunch of photos and let you be the judge of how successful the restoration effort was. I intend to put the link to the video where the mayor and the master craftsman who led the restoration speak. One further thing is that it was mentioned that efforts had been made to keep the dive bombing birds out and I made sure to take close ups of those measures that were taken. I will close by telling you after the photos about a conversation that I had with an older Korean gentleman who started talking to me as I was taking these photographs.

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Note the ingenious wires and spikes that were added all under the cupola, anyplace where pigeons might want to roost.

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During the brief conversation mentioned earlier, I told the gentleman that
we appreciated this gift and were well aware of the sacrifice that it eloquently

I also said that I hoped that we Americans made sure that it stayed in this condition from now on.

To the people of South Korea, words can not describe just how grateful we are for this masterful restoration that you undertook with your gift made to us years ago, and for the thoughts and good wishes that it expresses, as well as the sacrifices made by both peoples almost six decades ago.

This memorial ensures that those who gave all before us will not be forgotten.