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Hoengsong and “Massacre Valley” — February 12, 1951

I first learned about Hoengsong and “Massacre Valley” when I read Stanley Sandler’s Korean War history, No Victors, No Vanquished in 2000, but it wasn’t until May 2001, when I had the chance to sit down with Oscar Cortez, when I learned more about “Massacre Valley” and what happened to elements of the 2nd Infantry […]

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Courage Under Fire

Brothers in Arms Of all the articles, I would write about Korean War veterans returning to Korea, there are two, which stood out the most: the one about a veteran who saved his buddy during the war and other about a former POW returning to the bridge he had walked across to freedom when he […]

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Memorial for US Second Infantry Division — Hoengsong, South Korea

Located in “Massacre Valley” a few miles north of Hoengsong, is the monument for the US Second Infantry Division, which suffered hundreds of casualties here on February 12-13, 1951. In War Remains, this is where some of the story takes place.

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Once upon a war

“When the cold, biting wind howls down from the mountains, I can almost hear their screams and cries riding upon that cold wind.” When I’ve walk across the frozen Woosong campus here in Daejeon, South Korea (approximately two hours south of Seoul) on my way to school the past few weeks—when it has been so […]

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Today I was honored with the comments left by the son of a Korean War veteran who discovered my post about the US Second Infantry Division monument at Hoengsong and the battle that was fought there in February 1951. His father served with the 38th Infantry Regiment and fought in the battle that I described […]

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How I discovered a "forgotten war"

I confess, when I came to Korea 20 years ago, I didn’t know much about the Korean War. I knew of the war, but not much. Even though I minored in history, my knowledge of the conflict was severely and sadly limited. Most of what I knew, like most Americans from my generation, was from […]

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This book is dedicated to….

That was easy. I knew from the beginning, when I sat down and started writing War Remains that I would dedicate the book to my mother, my eighth grade English teacher, Arlene Gandolfi and Oscar Cortez. My mother was proud of me when I started writing for the Korea Times in 2000 and went around […]

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It all started with a book

The day I held Retrieving Bones—a collection of short stories and poetry written by Korean War veterans—at the Kyobo Book Centre in downtown Seoul one cold February afternoon in 2000, was the day I started writing War Remains. As I stood there in Kyobo, debating whether or not I should pay the 39,000 Won for […]

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I saw a movie and wrote a book

Well, not exactly. What I mean is that when I sat down and started to write War Remains in September 2009, I saw or envisioned the story as a movie. I knew how the book would begin and how it would end, and I saw these two scenes as scenes in a movie, kind of […]

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A war was once fought here

“Massacre Valley” — Hoengsong, South Korea Earlier this month, I went to Hoengsong north of Wonju to visit “Massacre Valley” a Korean War battlefield that was the sight of a major battle from February 11-13, 1951 and one that figured prominently in my novel. This a monument/memorial dedicated to the US Second Infantry Division The […]

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