Korean War Legacy Project

Hong Berm Hur


Hong Berm Hur was born in 1961 in Chuncheon, Korea and he graduated in 1984 from the Republic of Korea Naval Academy.  He spent 11 years aboard a ship and eventually became a Naval Air Technician in Hawaii which is where he currently resides.  Hong Berm Hur is honored to be a part of securing the Korean War Veterans legacy and he mentioned that there are hundreds of living Korean War Veterans throughout the Hawaiian islands with so many stories to share of their experiences during the Korean War.  Hong Berm Hur told about one veteran who was a Prisoner of War held captive by the Chinese in a prison camp for over a year, but had escaped.  Hong Berm Hur strongly expressed his country’s appreciation for the veterans and their sacrifices during the war because they were called by their government to serve without having a lot of background knowledge about the Korean people.  Our continued alliance with Republic of Korea was due to the commitment of these veterans.

Video Clips

Recognition Not Going Unnoticed

Hong Berm Hur mentioned the gratitude the Republic of Korea has for the soldiers that sacrificed so much by honoring them with the Distinguished Ambassador for Peace Medal. He went on to share that during World War II, no countries ever thanked the US soldiers for extending their efforts to help rid the world of dictators. Hong Berm Hur believes that recognition and the sacrifice of soldiers should be done around the world.

Tags: Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Message to Students,Modern Korea,Personal Loss,Pride,Prior knowledge of Korea

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Korean War POW and the Simple Ways to Show Appreciation

Hong Berm Hur met Mr. English Model who was a POW (prisoner of war) during the Korean War. English Model was captured by the Chinese and was put into a camp for over a year. Thankfully, he escaped and made his way to Hawaii. This is where he shared his story with Hong Berm Hur. Hong Berm Hur not only likes to hear the stories of Korean War veterans, he also takes care of these veterans when he's not working so that he can properly show the veterans gratitude that they deserve for their service during the Korean War.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,POW

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Success in South Korea

Hong Berm Hur is very proud of the relationship between the US military and the South Korean government. The US soldiers and sailors worked very hard during the Korean War to protect South Korea. The alliance between the US and South Korea has led to the success in South Korea.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Message to Students,Modern Korea,Pride,South Koreans

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

H:        I was born in, uh, 1961 in Chungcheong Province, [INAUDIBLE]

I:          Um hm

H:        Korea.

I:          Um hm.

H:        And uh, I entered the Naval [INAUDIBLE], I mean Naval Academy of Republic of Korea in 1980 and graduated in 1984.

I:          Um hm.

H:        And, uh, I on board the ships for about 11 years, and finally eventually I got here in Hawaii as a Naval Air Technician.


I:          Um hm.

H:        It was one of my, uh, very honorable jobs which is, uh, sort of diplomatic job as a military office.

I:          Um hm.

H:        It’s a great present for me.

I:          Um hm.

H:        The one who is [INAUDIBLE] is to, to meet this so important person like you, Professor Hahn and, uh, Mr. [INAUDIBLE] Chairman of my chapter.


So I’m really happy to work with all these very important people in Hawaii.

I:          Um.

H:        And you know, uh, Hawaii is the perfect place for it.

I:          Yes.

H:        We have in Hawaii more than 400, uh, Korean veterans still alive.

I:          Still alive.

H:        Yes.  This island have about 150 and the big island about 50.

I:          Um hm.

H:        And also, uh, the Kawaii


and Maui have about the same number of Korean War veterans when we include, uh, their spouses and families more than, uh, 400 people can, uh, you know, uh, testimony about the Korean War.

I:          Um hm.

H:        students.   In the, there is a lot of person have real interesting stories like, uh, um, Mr. [INAUDIBLE]  He was captured as a prisoner of war

I:          Um hm.


H:        and the, she was, has taken  more than a year in China prison camp

I:          Um hm.

H:        and somehow he escaped from the camp, and he’s still surviving.

I:          Wow.

H:        And he had, uh, very interesting story.  But one of my federal job is to take care of the Korean War veterans, you know, here in Kawaii.

I:          Um hm.

H:        And when I meet them, uh,


I really strongly surprised by their sincere appreciation of, uh, my own comments and people before them because at that time, uh, most Korean War veterans said that they even don’t know, didn’t know, uh, where there Korea is, what kind of country it is.  But they just followed the Government’s order

I:          Yes.
H:        to go to Korea and fight for.


And also when they come back, they actually never welcomed from the United States people.
I:          Um hm, um hm.

H:        They didn’t fight for United States people.  They didn’t fight for any, uh, benefits of the United States people.
I:          Um hm.

H:        And, uh, U.S. Government also tired from the long War of World War II.

I:          Yes, that’s right.

H:        So, uh, Korean War Veterans Association, their meetings is


getting more activity.  So one of our strangest thing is of course at the time goes, uh, Korean veterans, some of them pass away.  So their number have to be reduced.

I:          Right.

H:        But actually it’s not.

I:          It’s not.

H:        Because

I:          That’s amazing.

H:        Yes.  And  you remember meeting the hidden  members

I:          Oh, inactive members

H:        Inactive members, uh, actively taking part in the


uh, social activities.

I:          Wow.

H:        cause the total number has not decreased.  Doctor, United States, uh, Forces help.  We couldn’t, uh, keep our freedom like it is today definitely.  And, uh, during the fighting, uh, in Korean War trigger with, uh, United States, uh, Army, Navy and Air Force or some, uh, Marines Korean military  and


built up strong alliance to United States, even people and the government.  So those generations [INAUDIBLE] the Korean Government and Korean military, so current [INAUDIBLE] so military leaders have a strong, uh, confidence from the United States Forces and government.

I:          Um hm.

H:        So I would just say the Korean War veterans who


contributed and sacrificed in 60 years ago is the basis of our current  strong alliance between two countries.  …the Korean War veterans.  One of them is the Peace, Ambassador of Peace Medal which they did 60 years ago as Ambassador of Peace in Korean Peninsula.  It’s most meaningful event I remember.


I:          Um hm.

H:        I heard from our Korean veterans host the  same thing to thank you to Korean government

I:          Uh huh.

H:        uh, many of veterans is planning is the European countries for example.

I:          Yeah.

H:        They fought in World War II.  A lot of t hem fought in European countries, but, uh, they never said thank you to the United States.

I:          Exactly the comments that I’ve heard from the  Korean War veterans that I


H:        Right.

I:          had a chance to interview.  Yes, that’s right.

H:        And also one more thing in the  Korean Government site, we are still separated in North Korea, South Korea.  It’s very different.  When we see the North Korea, uh, we can imagine, you know, if we lost the freedom in Korean War, what happened, it really does [recover] Korea also where they’re the same as the North Korean current situation.


Have a meeting with the, the Korean War veterans here in Hawaii.  They tell me very interesting story about the Korean War at the time, uh.  So I somehow we better keep those stories, uh, as a form of recall.

I:          Um hm.

H:        I, I think.  So I once tried to plan


to publish their stories in our, um, books like, like that.  But I told myself two set up a barriers.  One is the copyright.

I:          Um hm.

H:        And the second is the, uh, got to be their memory the way that ours.  So we not correct.  They could be not telling the truth.

I:          Um hm.

H:        possible.

I:          Because of the, you know, the, the absence of the low mem.  I mean, it’s been a long time ago, right?


It’s hard to remember

H:        You know, in young time, they even don’t know what, what place they fought.

I:          Exactly.

H:        They don’t know the name.  It’s a foreign country.
I:          Yeah.

H:        I understand.  But, uh, what should we here, uh, taping, uh, you know, interviews, videos.  It’s no problem.  I don’t have any, those kind of problems.

I:          Um hm.

H:        What you’re doing is the perfect to help them protecting to do.  I really thank you.


Oh, Professor Hahn, please keep doing this until everybody, the Korean War veterans can leave their records as a voice, including voice and their shapes, their stories altogether on the website.  Website is a strong, very powerful, you know, uh, message to hold those kind of stories.  Thank you very much.


[End of Recorded Material]