[Journal] Day 5; Baltimore, MD – Washington DC

“Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

For each nation, its capital city symbolizes the history, culture, and people. Washington DC is not an exception, and I truly admire what true American spirit represents.

The story of my mother nation, S.Korea, starts with almost 5,000 years of history. There has been so many different events and incidents, some glorious, some gruesome, some dark and full of sorrow.

It was just about 68 years ago when my nation regained its independence (08.15.1945). Back then everything seemed so miserable that no one would truly believe this nation can rise up soon. Believe or not, my nation’s capital city Seoul held 1988 Olympic Game, just 43 years after a long turmoil of foreign invasion had ended. G11 Conference was held in S.Korea couple of years ago, and some of the major companies well known such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia and Doosan’s electronic appliances, motorized vehicles and power plants play the major role in the world industrial pool.

What I am so amazed about the culture in America is that people remember those who have sacrificed themselves to protect freedom of this nation. American people appreciate their troops fighting off mainland, respect veterans of previous wars, and honor past generations.

In Asia, the trend has been changed so drastically that the younger generation does not appreciate the values taught for a long time in the past anymore. The conflict among older generations and younger generation is one of the major political and cultural issues within most Asian countries these days. The awareness of sacrifice that is required for the true liberty is not highly valued at all. It simply is due to the human nature; selfishness. However, the degree is becoming more serious.

My great grandfather’s generation fought for my nation’s freedom, and my grand father’s generation fought to protect the liberty of my nation. My father’s generation simply brought the whole new level of prosperity to my nation, and I hope my generation can bring the future generation a wisdom for one simple lesson; Freedom, to be earned, not to be given. To do so, sometimes comes the great responsibility and sacrifice. I hope I’m not afraid of those challenges, and that is why I’m part of Illini 4000 today.

Great job, all members of I4K for reaching this far, and let’s continue our journey and remember what we have been doing this for!

Comments (1)

Leave a Reply