Dimitrios Matsoukas is the younger brother of 1st Lieutenant George Matsoukas, an army officer in the Greek Expeditionary Force. He serves as the Special Secretary of the Panhellenic Association of Korean War Veterans in Greece. He proudly shares the stories of his brother’s involvement in the Korean War. Dimitrios Matsoukas describes the battles and shares details of George Matsoukas’ sacrifice. Additionally, Dimitrios Matsoukas shares photos, correspondence, and other memories that exemplify the rich legacy of his brother George Matsoukas and of all of the Greek heroes who bravely served in the Korean War.
Civil War in Greece
Dimitrios Matsoukas briefly describes the Greek Civil War and offers parallels between fighting communism in Greece and the fight against communism in South Korea.
Share from this page:
A Brother's Sacrifice
Dimitrios Matsoukas describes two engagements in which his brother, George Matsoukas, fought. The first was at Hill 313, also known as Scotch Hill, where the Chinese and the Greeks took part in hand-to-hand combat resulting the Greeks ultimately recapturing the hill. The second battle happened to the northwest of Hill 313 on an unnamed hill where George would be mortally wounded by a Chinese grenade.
Share from this page:
Remembering a Brother
Dimitrios Matsoukas explains how he learned about his brother's valiant final days through a war correspondent's book entitled "I Die for Greece". He reads the story of the battle in which his brother gave his life.
Share from this page:
Dimitrios Matsoukas shows a photo of the former UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon during a visit to Athens. During the visit, Greek heroes, who fought in the Korean War, were recognized by the UN General Secretary and their families given a medal to recognize their sacrifice.
Share from this page:
Homecoming of Heroes
Dimitrios Matsoukas shares a newspaper article that shows his father and eldest sister standing over the repatriated coffin of their brother, George Matsoukas. On March 5, 1955, the coffins of 186 Greek heroes who fell in the Korean War were returned to Greece.
Share from this page:
[Beginning of Transcribed Material]
D: Dimitros Matsoukas. [GREEK]
I: So, birthday. What is it?
I: English. What is it?
D: Twenty-fourth of August 1937. It was an opportunity for me to meet Mr. Jung Woo Han, a great honor, through the Greek Embassy in Seoul
Who sent us an email. It told me that [INAUDIBLE] would you come to Charleston and us, tell us about the Greek Expeditionary Forces. So, when I got it, I was so happy I told him really. Would you think that I could come and speak about the Greek Expeditionary Forces. He told me yes. So, really, I took that opportunity.
I went to Charleston, South Carolina and spoke about the Greed Expeditionary Forces. I had more than four days. And I had a meeting with American teachers and several other personalities, two university professors. I had a lot of very important things about the Korean War,
About several other themes that teachers also gave speeches on several occasions there. That was the opportunity to meet Mr. Jung Woo Han, and I must tell him that I thank you very much for this invitation,
That invitation and the opportunity to go and speak at a conference of teachers in Charleston, South Carolina.
I: Yeah. It was June 24 – 27, 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina. It was wonderful, not just me but about American Social Studies teachers to listen to you about the wonderful story of a mother who lost her son
During the Korean War. So, it was our pleasure and honor to have you. And tell me just one thing you still remember, or you think that it was very important for my foundation working with teachers on the Korean War. What did you feel about it?
D: About the teachers?
I: About the conference.
D: About the conference. I continue that it was really something very, very important. Teachers had the opportunity to listen to several,
to several speakers of many important things about the Korean War, about the economy of the Korea, of the Korea country, the Republic of Korea. There were very nice workshops there. Everyone who followed each other [INAUDIBLE] had the opportunity to listen to speakers.
Let me tell about me. I followed two working shops. And one was about a Korean teacher who spoke to us about how the other countries except the Republic of Korea see or better saw the Korean War and especially how they describe it in their school
Historic books, I mean the historic books in their schools, sorry. And we heard that in China and in North Korea, they said that the South attacked the North, you see, something that they produced a lot of laughter to me because we know what exactly happened. Another workshop
That I followed, it was about Korean poetry. And since I had an opportunity as a special secretary of the Politic Association of the Korean War, I had the opportunity to have a Korean magazine under the name then Korea Now. On the last page of that magazine,
An American professor, Mr. Oku, always put one or two Korean poets, I’m sorry. So, I started reading them, and immediately I was attracted by the Korean poetry, although I got it through an explanation, through translation. I’m sorry I don’t know the Korean language, so I couldn’t read it
In the [INAUDIBLE]. So, although of course it was translated by a professor, so the result was good for me because I could understand what the poem said. I was very, very attracted. And I [INAUDIBLE] to the Korean poetry. So, what I did, I took all these last pages. I collected all of them, and I started translating any poem, you see,
Which was included without having in mind that sometime in the future, I would make let’s say an apology of the Korean poetry which, although exactly I managed to accomplish later in 2017.
So, uh, when I went to this working shop and
I: You mean workshop.
I: Yeah, workshop.
D: Working shop.
D: It was about [INAUDIBLE] poetry. It was something that I had an idea bout that. So, I joined it. And I told the speaker, she was a woman teacher, I told her that I remember two [INAUDIBLE] poems.
And I read it there, to them there, to the group who followed that workingshop, uh. So, it was a great moment for me. But I can say that, uh, I’m very, very thankful to Mr. Jung Woo Han that he invited me to that event.
I: What is your title now, and what is the organization that you are working for?
D: I’m a, sorry, Special Secretary
of the [INAUDIBLE] Association of the Korean War Veterans
I: Um hm.
D: In Greece.
I: In Greece. And now it’s time for you to tell me why you worked for that organization because you are not yourself a Korean War veteran, right? Are you a Korean War veteran/
I: So, what is your brother’s name, and could you spell it for the audience, and what’s his birthday?
D: My brother’s name is George Matsoukas.
I: Um hm.
D: He was born in Kallithea, a town about 80 km. from Athens on the 23rd of February, 1929.
I: Tell me about your whole family when you were growing up with your brother. And what was your relationship with your brother? How close between
You and him, and what was your father doing and so on.
D: Our family consisted of my father, my mother and five children. And three of them were boys and two girls. My brother George was the second in the turn of the birth
Of our brothers and sisters you see. Uh, he was maybe the best boy of the family according to my mother’s, you see, opinion. She loved him much more than, although the other brothers told me that mother loves you more because I was the youngest of all. Anyway,
I: So, you want to dispute that. You are the love of your mom, right?
D: Yeah. So, uh, it was a very kind boy, really. He was younger. Uh, a good student either in the preliminary as well as in the high school, too. I must tell you that uh, his dream was to become a pilot. So, what he did, he knew all the kinds of aircraft of that time.
So, all the margins of the books and several other papers, you see, he used to read on, it was full, they were full of sketches of that aircraft. Finally, his dream became true. It was realized. He gave examinations when he finished the high school. In those years, we did have [INAUDIBLE].
We had in high school, eight classes high school. Okay. When he finished eight, he gave examinations, and he succeeded to become a pilot in 1948. The class of this pilot class was the 21st class. So, uh, at that time, the Ministry of uh, of War said
That uh, this class ought to be, to go to Texas, to the United States, Texas where there was a school there in order to be prepared there and not in Athens school. There was like 50 candidates there. Unfortunately, during the training, um, the 35 of them
Were kept off as you could say from the Americans. I don’t remember exactly where. They didn’t promote them to become pilots. I don’t know why. Maybe they felt during their training. Among these cadets was my brother, too. So, they had the right to attend an,
Excuse me, um, a university degree school in Athens all to go to any military school. And my brother took, chose better to join the, uh, Army Academy. So, he went there. It was uh, 1949, uh, second class of 1949 as it was called.
He uh, succeeded and became Second Lieutenant in the Army, uh. He served in several areas of Greece.
I: When was it?
D: It was about 1950.
D: It was a time that the Korean War broke.
I: Um hm.
D: So, when he heard about that, he immediately uh,
Took uh, decided to join the Army, the missions who went to Korea to fight the Communists.
I: What do you mean? He joined the Army?
D: He went, yes. After he [INAUDIBLE] from the
D: Yes. From the Air Force school in Texas because the American teachers were very strict.
D: And 35 children uh, failed. So, he chose to join the military academy and became a Second Lieutenant, uh. At that period, the Korean War had broken, uh, out. And they had started missions to go to Korea. So, he decided to join one of them. So, it was the fourth mission when
He uh, went to Korea through General [INAUDIBLE] uh. And he arrived in uh, Korea, uh, in August 1951.
I: Hold on. I’m going to ask questions. So, you gotta wait until I ask, okay?
D: It’s better for me if you ask me.
I: Yeah. So,
Before that, I would like to ask you this question. When he said George wanted to go to Korea, what was the reaction from your parents. And what did you think about it? You knew it, right, at the time, that he wanted to go to Korea.
D: Yes of course.
I: It was war. He could die there. So, what was the reaction from your father and yourself?
D: Yeah. Um, I think that they, although my mother, as every mother,
You see, thinks about her son, that he might be killed. Of course, she didn’t like to hear it. But George was decided. My father uh, agreed about that, you see, as well uh. The other brothers and sisters, brother and sister, and me too, yes. I can say that uh, I was proud from that time that he would be to Korea.
I: Um hm.
D: You see.
Because, besides we had already fought the same enemy uh, two years ago. The Civil War in Greece finished in 1949 when my brother was at that military academy, yes. He didn’t fight the Communists in Greece, yeah. He didn’t fight the [INAUDIBLE]. But he went to Korea in order, uh, to fight the Communists there.
D: I must tell you that uh, during the journey by the [INAUDIBLE], he got the Second Star and became First Lieutenant of the Greek Army.
I: Did your brother know anything about Korea by the time that he was leaving for Korea? Did he learn anything about Korea before, or did you know, or any of your family knew about Korea
At the time that your brother was just about to leave for Korea?
D: Uh, in my opinion, nobody knew anything about the Korean Peninsula before the War broke out. Uh, as about my brother, I’m not sure if he knew or not anything, although he followed the international news, okay. He maybe
From Geography he knew something about Korea. And maybe he had read something about the history about your, I don’t know. I’m not exactly sure about it.
I: Okay. Got it.
D: But since he decided to go there, in my opinion, I think that he might knew something about you, I mean your country, your history, something like that.
I: Okay. So,
Also, please explain about your Civil War in Greece. When did it happen? How did it happen? And what was the impact for the Greek people here, but briefly.
I: When did it happen?
D: The Civil War started in 1946 after the end of the Second World War, you see, because Greece wanted to uh, take the reins, uh, to gather [INAUDIBLE] of the country uh.
So, the official government, you see, denied [INAUDIBLE] and that uh, the Civil War broke up, and it uh, continued up to 1949 when the Communists were defeated.
I: So, how many people died? Was it a big war? Please talk to the audience.
D: Uh, the people who died during the Civil War were more than during the Second World War.
Uh, I’m sorry. But there were more than 2,000 people killed, you see.
I: Two hundred thousand.
D: Twenty thousand, yes.
I: Twenty or two hundred thousand?
D: Two hundred thousand.
I: Two hundred thousand. So, it was a big Civil War. Yeah.
I: So, you didn’t, so there is also, um, opinions
Against the Communism already rooted in Greek society, right, Greek people?
D: Of course.
D: Uh, the majority of Greek people wouldn’t like the country to be a Communist one.
D: For that, Korea is, although expected that the people would help them if it happened already, it was in some villages where they forced them and took many of the young men there
To fight against their official government and the Greek Army. But entirely, there were only those who had ideas about Communism and wanted to change the regime here to be Communist.
I: Okay. So, your brother George knew that there is a Communist attack in the country he didn’t know well.
So, he went there to fight against Communis.
D: Exactly. Besides, my father uh, was, although he was old enough, he used, I remember him at night, you see, to take his gun, he had a gun, I mean, he was given a gun to him, yeah, you know, to keep uh, excuse me, uh,
To, during the night you see, um, to see if any Communists would make any trouble to the area where we lived at Kallithea. So, uh, he loved very much the King, so all the family were against Communism.
I: Um hm. So, tell me about your brother’s battle experience in Korea briefly.
He, you told me that he arrived August of 1951 in Pusan. And then tell me what he was doing and how he was killed.
D: Yes. After the mission, the fourth mission of officers and soldiers, Greek soldiers arrived to Pusan. And then they were [INAUDIBLE] to Chorwon area. Here, uh, in those,
In that time, on that time, uh, the United Nations fought the Commander Operation against the Chinese. So uh, especially at that time there was a very important hill, the 313 Hill or Scotch Hill, which was very important, and it was ought to be called from the Chinese soldiers.
So, uh, the Americans tried to catch the hill. But they did manage to do it fortunately. Then the Greek nations, there was another order for the Greek battalion tried to take that fight. So, um, the Second Company as well as the First and the Second Company
Started fighting the Chinese and started walking up the hill in order to throw out the Chinese from the top of the hill. There were very, very strong fights there, uh, hand to hand fights, you see. It was caught by the Greek companies, the two companies.
And then it was regained again by the Communists, the Chinese. But lastly, there was another attack. And the Second Company of the Greek Expeditionary Forces of the Greek battalion managed to uh, put their foot on the hill. So, it was captured, the Chinese were overrun, uh, from that point.
And it was a great victory for the Greek battalion.
I: When was it?
D: It was done of the third, or the fourth, the fight started on the third of October, uh. And the 313 Hill was captured on the fourth of October, the 313 Hill.
I: Wow, so in a day.
D: Excuse me?
I: In a day. It started on October third, and then they captured it on the fourth of October.
D: On the fourth.
D: Exactly. Then there was an order to proceed, to forward, to northwest, uh. That direction there was a hill, an anonymous hill which ought to be captured because it was uh, a very important, you see, for the United Nations Forces. So, uh, the Greek battalion, the chief of the Greek battalion,
The commander ordered the Second Company to capture that hill. My brother was one of the platoon leaders of that company. So, uh, already they started the battle against the Chinese of that hill.
I: What was the name of the hill again?
D: It was anonymous.
I: Anonymous hill, okay.
D: Anonymous hill, you see.
D: Uh, so uh, the battle started really.
It was captured by the Greeks. Unfortunately, the Chinese more and more, they overran our uh, soldiers, the Greek soldiers. But finally, another attack of the Greek soldiers managed to overrun, to throw out the Chinese from this, uh, hill, the anonymous hill.
I: Um hm.
D: Unfortunately, on that battle which was hand to hand,
The Chinese used to uh, to throw out a lot of personal grenades.
D: Grenades for personnel.
I: Yeah, hand grenades.
D: Hand grenades, yes, uh, against personnel. And exactly on that time that my brother was um, went onto the trench where the Chinese were, you see, a Chinese grenade uh, hit him on the stomach, you see,
On the front of his body, uh. And unfortunately, he was mortally wounded. And after some time, he uh, left his uh, last uh, you know, yes, uh, okay. He died let’s say.
I: How did you know all those things?
I: How did you know all those things because it was your brother, not you.
And how did you come to know of all this history of your brother?
I: How did he die and so on, how?
D: Allow me to tell you that, uh. The Greek battalion was followed by war correspondents. One of them was, Skordelius, George Skordelius who wrote a book about the Greek Expeditionary Forces
I: Um hm
D: after the title “I Die for Greece”.
[GREEK] means, that means I die for Greece. On page 70, he narrates this uh, exact even that happened. Northly and uh, on the left of the 300 Hill, that was an anonymous hill that the [INAUDIBLE], the Chinese, they had uh,
Put a lot of arms on it, uh, with the same way as in 313 Hill. So, although this hill, uh, it was not into the um, into the target of uh, they had been given firstly to be
Called this hill uh, firstly by the Greek uh, battalion. Although that happened, uh, because of the importance that they had, uh, for the situation, the United Nations Commander ordered to be called this hill
The anonymous hill. Clearly on the 7th of October, the First Company uh, under Captain George [INAUDIBLE] to the right and the Second Company after the Major [INAUDIBLE] on the left started uh, simultaneously to fight
In order to capture this hill.
I: So, is this your brother?
D: Yes. My brother George Matsoukas, First Lieutenant.
I: Oh, my goodness. He’s so handsome. Did he send you?
D: To the family, of course.
D: To my parents.
I: Uh huh.
D: And he writes on the hind side of the portal arrived somewhere in Korea. It might be forbidden to tell where they were maybe.
I: Uh huh.
D: For that,
In all the photographs from the front, uh, they weren’t telling about the exact position they were.
I: Yeah. Please.
D: This one is another portal from Korea. Unfortunately, he lived, you see, long enough to get more photos from Korea.
I: Where is he now in that picture?
D: There, it is somewhere in Korea, uh,
With some of his platoon soldiers, you see. Uh, he is sitting on the front of the jeep.
I: The far-right side?
D: This one exactly.
I: Yeah. He looks, that looks like him. Yes. Those soldiers.
D: Yeah, exactly. So, I think, you see.
Uh, holding the binoculars uh. And he writes on the back that uh, during an exercise, sorry, during an interval during an exercise better.
D: And it was during an exercise.
I: So, is he the one who is lying with the machine gun on the front?
D: No. He’s standing up
I: Oh, okay.
D: He’s standing up with the binoculars
D: Another one is this person.
I: Go ahead.
D: And he says it has been taking Skopje. It’s a Greek town. And uh, he has written at the back together
With uh, the Commander and uh, some of my colleagues, uh, in the small landing of [INAUDIBLE]. Let me explain what I wanted to say. Uh, Skopje is the capital of [INAUDIBLE]. It is in the East Macedonia, Greek Macedonia. The eastern part is called [INAUDIBLE[. So, Skopje is
The capital of it. [INAUJDIBLE] say that the small landing of Flakee.
I: See, it’s my joy when I’m watching you reading some of the notes on the back of the picture of your brother. I see that your brother is right there, okay, talking to you and talking to us.
I: See? That’s why we need to learn about history.
D: Yes sir. Uh, another one is this one.
He’s the second from the left you see maybe, right?
D: From the left, the second from the left you see.
I: Point to it. Who is that?
D: Sorry. He’s here.
I: The white?
D: The white.
D: Yeah yeah, exactly.
I: So, there are more people taller than your brother.
I: There are, his friend is taller than him.
D: Right. I must tell you from the beginning that he goes uh,
Let’s say not a tall man, of middle height really. But of great, you know, he was a great doctor, a very good man.
I: Thank you.
D: A very good man, really.
I: Um hm.
D: So, I think that’s enough for the photos.
D: But another point I would like to stress is that,
may I show you these ones, too?
D: I am with one of my two sisters.
I: Um hm.
D: And we had been to Seoul in 19, uh, 2001, sorry.
I: Invited by Ministry of Patriots
D: By the ministry of Patriots and uh, Veterans Affairs
I: So, Korea Revisit Program.
D: Revisit Program, exactly, as brothers of a killed in action officer.
D: And we are showing the name of our brother uh, at the War Memorial of yours
I: In Seoul
D: In Seoul, exactly.
D: Uh, we’re a little moved showing the name of our brother.
I: What’s your sister’s name?
D: Athena, like atena, Athena.
I: Great to see the two of you pointing to the name of your brother, George Matsoukas.
I: Go ahead. Excuse me. This is the ship, General Han. May I say that General, no, my mistake. Excuse me.
The ship is, was called General JH Makraw. I don’t pronounce it very well. I thought it was General Han, but no. General Makraw.
I: What is it?
D: This was the ship that took uh, the fourth mission of the Greek soldiers to Korea. Would you like to read what my brother, my late brother,
Has written? And yes, uh.
I: Say in Greek first.
D: In Greek. [GREEK STATEMENT] That means in Greek, in English sorry, that uh,
We are on the ship, uh, going to Korea, uh. It is, the date is the 31st of June, 1951, uh. This is the ship which is going to bring us to carry us in the new country, the country of Korea. I sent you my greetings from portside
Where we arrived this day, today. George.
D: Uh, it’s nice to listen, to see his nice writing.
D: Just the opposite from my bad writing.
I: I knew that.
D: I know that.
D: So. Another point I think is that during 2000,
What’d you say? During 2004, um, the President of yours now is late from what I remember.
I: Um hm.
D: Uh, visited our country here, uh., accompanied by the Ministry of uh, Foreign Affairs who uh, later became General uh, sorry, uh, Secretary, General Secretary of the United Nations,
I: Ban Ki-moon.
D: Ban Ki-moon.
D: Thank you.
D: Ban Ki-moon.
D: So, he came to uh, to Athens, to Greece, of course to visit the veterans here and also to award a medal to four people, better to four members of uh, families
That have lost uh, a brother during the Korean War. So, since I was one of them, I’ll show you exactly the time that he awarded me. And I’ll show the medal after that photo.
D: This is one photo. And the other one is that I thanked him by bowing my head.
I: Is that you?
D: I’m bowing my head in order to thank him.
D: For that honor.
I: Do you know? His name is Ro Moo Hun, President Ro. And he is one of the greatest Presidents in the Korean political history. I admire him. So, great that you met him, and you were awarded by him. Great.
D: Thank you.
D: Uh, allow me to show you the medal now.
The medal is this one.
D: This is the Korean
D: Citation, exactly. First in Korea, sorry.
I: You have it upside.
D: Sorry, yes, exactly.
I: Oh, show it to me again.
I: It says [KOREAN]
Wow. What an honor. You know, your brother got this medal according to the Constitution of Republic of Korea.
D: See, thank you. This is the citation in English.
I: Upside down.
D: I’m sorry, yeah.
I: You can read it.
D: Can I?
D: Yeah. Republic of Korea Citation.
In recognition of and appreciation for his outstanding activities rendered to the Republic of Korea, I take a great pleasure in awarding in accordance with the powers delegated to me by the Constitution of the Republic of Korea the order of National Security Merit [INAUDIBLE] medal to the later Mr. George Matsoukas
[INAUDIBLE] Republic. The late Mr. George Matsoukas has greatly contributed to the National Security of the Republic of Korea through the sacrifice he has made in the Korean War. His [INAUDIBLE] dedication and the remarkable efforts have earned him the appreciation and oblation of the Korean people. September the third, 2006. Not 2004, I’m sorry.
Earl Moon Hunm, President of the Republic of Korea.
D: It’s about this from the get go.
I: Um hm.
D: So, since uh, our family, I mean, um, my brother and uh, the two sisters who were alive then, in 2006, thinking that this honor belonged not only to our brother but also to the other 185
Big hills who fell during the Korean War decided to honor this medal with a citation, the prototype, to the museum, their War Museum in Athens in order all the coming generations to have a look about that medal and the honor that
Chairman, the President of the Korean Republic uh, offered, gave to all the heroic, Greek heroic dead and not only to our brother.
I: Um hm. Great. That’s great.
D: Yeah. We have donated to the War Memorial, and if you’d like to read the letter that the President of the War Memorial,
Sorry, War Museum, I’m sorry, uh, had sent to us thanking about that what we did.
I: Uh, I think you did mention. So, you don’t need to. So, let’s wrap it up, okay? Um,
D: So, yeah.
D: Excuse me. I have forgotten two important things to show you, or three maybe. Allow me, please.
D: If you think so.
First of all, this is the military map.
I: Um hm.
D: That exactly gives the spot where this anonymous hill uh,
I: Located. Where is it?
D: Where it is located.
I: Where is it?
D: And where my brother was killed. It’s exactly this point over there. Can you see?
D: This is one point I would like to show to you.
I: Um hm.
D: The second is that uh, during the uh, their trip from [INAUDIBLE] Athens, Greece better, [INAUDIBLE] Greece port to Pusan, to Korea Pusan, my brother once a day was officer in order
D: Okay? And uh, he found some of the Greek sorry, soldiers playing cards which was forbidden.
I: Um hm.
D: So, one of them, when my brother told them to stop playing, he refused. And maybe he resisted
To him somehow.
I: Um hm.
D: And he made a reference to that event. Can I read, and I have the prototype of this reference to his superior, to his captain, about what happened at that evening.
D: May I read it?
D: See, it is a report of the officer in service to the Greek Expeditionary Force, uh. First Lieutenant George Matsoukas during our, during the trip on the 15th of August 1951. I repeat again. On the 15th of August 1951.
Uh, it is referred that as an officer, uh, in service on the 14th of August and from the time that 22 in the evening after the 24th, I mean, uh, midnight, uh, I have this, I have done this remark.
I’m telling it from Greek, so forget my bad English. In uh, when I came into the, they were in the room they were, uh, in the second, um, Company, and during the time the 23:30, that’s 11:30 in the evening, uh, I saw playing cards
The foreign soldiers, I’m sorry, of our Second Company, uh.
I: You know.
D: Is it important, a newspaper, Acropolis is the title of that.
I: Um hm.
D: On the 5th of March 1955 when all the coffins of the 186 Greek heroes who
Fell during the Korean War in Korea came to Piraeus Port.
D: The Kimpo then, Kimpo
D: With a Minister of the War, Mr. [INAUDIBLE] went there in order to honor the dead.
I: Um hm
D: On that picture, this picture shows my father
D: Here and my older sister, Adora, crying over the coffin of brother.
D: You see. But, I would like to show you. And the last thing
I’d like to tell you that we did visit the monument of the Greek Expeditionary Forces in an area very close to Athens at [INAUDIBLE]. In 2004, 2003 better, uh, there was an integration of this monument over there. This is the monument.
Which was erected, which is erected better, by money of the Korean government.
I: Um hm. Okay.
D: During the ceremony of the integration, uh, I wrote a small, some verses uh. I wanted to honor uh, this ceremony for the heroes,
The 186 heroes. So, I translated it into English. Would you like to read it for you?
D: To the glorious deeds of the Greek Expeditionary Force. Here at this sacred place, the memory of two glorious peoples devotedly kneels. A laurel lays by the altar of 186
[INAUDIBLE] men who fell for the world peace. At this white marble gate of a temple which stretches to the heights, glory stands holding a mortal water to bathe your manly bodies for history to accept you immortals of the heroes [INAUDIBLE] fields.
I: Beautiful poem. Nice.
D: If you like, I can
I: Yes. So, you can scan all this and send it to me, yeah.
D: Scan it to you if you like.
D: Yes, please.
I: We need to wrap this one.
D: Of course.
I: Um, as we talked, your brothers and all the Greek soldiers who sacrificed has never been wasted, never been forgotten. And because of their sacrifice, there are real good things that we can
Still talk about. And that is the Republic of Korea is 11th largest economy in the world and one of the most substantive democracies in East Asia and a strong alliance between Greece and Korea. We’re going to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. Do you have a special message to the Korean people and the Republic of Korea?
D: Yeah. Uh,
I was right to express my deepest feelings, the best feelings, for the Korean people to continue to have progress, peace, democracy food, democracy and prosperity, uh. And we are very gratitude to you that you have not
Forgotten uh, the heroes who uh, fought during the Korean War in your country. And you show your gratitude in every aspect. And let me tell you that I thank you and your country and all the Korean people uh. Would you allow me to tell something about some coincidences between Greece and Korea,
I mean the Republic of Korea which I have noticed? Would you think that might be of some interest of you?
I: Yes, just briefly.
D: Yes. First, I have noticed that both of these countries, your country and my country, have a history that has expanded to thousands of years in the past. Second, the 38th Parallel passes by Seoul and by Athens.
Thirdly, we fought the same enemy, the Communist enemy. Fourth is that you faced a problem with an able country, China who is let’s say, uh, has, wants to change the real history that the [INAUDIBLE] kingdom which
Was expanded up to Mongolia. They say that no, the Korean goes after the Huns, uh, reign they say, uh. Fifth is that, uh, you had a conflict let’s say, uh, you and Japan for Koto Island something that we have, we with Turks who claim
That some of our islands in the Aegean Sea belong to them. Something uh, which is opposite to the part it has been signed uh, during 1920, uh. I think that so many coincidences, as somebody has said, if the Greece coincidence continues to be a coincidence, it stops to be a coincidence. That means I think that
Our two countries more like to be sister countries. I feel that, we feel your country as our second homeland.
I: Bravo. Beautiful comments, beautiful comments. And I think that wraps up this interview beautifully. Yes. We are the brother and sisters, and I think we need to keep going based on the legacy of your brother.
And many other Greek soldiers who died for a country they didn’t know before.
I: Thank you, Dimitrios.
D: Thank you. Thank you for the honor to honor my brother. Thank you. I;m sorry for my [INAUDIBLE]
I: Thank you.
D: Thank you [INAUDIBLE]
I: Thank you so much.
[END RECORDED MATERIAL]