Korean War Legacy Project

Sahlemariam Wmichaea


Sahlemariam Wmichaea was born in Ethiopia in 1934. He joined the military at a very young in 1947 at the urging of a local military commander while he was in religious school. Sahlemariam Wmichaea left for Korea in 1952 as part of the 3rd Kagnew Battalion. He served as a military messenger who ran messages back and forth to commanders during battle. He remembers the excitement at the first sight of snow, but then recalls the miserable cold. Sahlemariam Wamichaea returned to Korea in 2005 and is proud of what South Korea has become after he saw it in ruins.

Video Clips

First Feelings

Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes his feelings about going to war and what he though when first seeing Korea. He was not afraid ro fight and was instead eager to help due to the destruction and poverty he witnessed.

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Physical destruction,Pride

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Messenger Duty

Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes what is was like to be a messenger during wartime. He describes having to run and hide moving between units to deliver messages. Even though it was risky running through enemy fire, Sahlemariam Wmichaea never got injured.

Tags: Fear,Front lines

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Korea in 2005

Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes returning to Korea in 2005. He never dreamed that the changes he saw were possible. He recalls going from sleeping on the floor in 1952 to staying in skyscrapers in 2005.

Tags: Seoul,Impressions of Korea,Modern Korea,Physical destruction

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