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Erecting MacArthur’s Statue in the U.S.

Posted October. 04, 2005 03:07,   


With a few progressive Korean organizations demanding the removal of General MacArthur’s statue, Seoul citizens, USFK service members, and foreigners decided to contribute in erecting General MacArthur’s statue in his hometown in the U.S. through a marathon.

Those people participated in the third International Peace Marathon held on October 3 at the Seoul Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium. The Gangnam Sports Association, celebrating the foundation of Korea and wishing for the prosperity of the Korean people and world peace, has held this annual event over the last three years. Remaining true to its purpose, most of the participation fees for this marathon, excluding costs, go to helping the underprivileged.

About 15,000 participated in the marathon including notables such as Eighth U.S. Army Commander Charles Campbell, Head of the Gangnam-gu Office Kwon Moon-yong, Minister-Counselor of the American Embassy in Korea Don Q. Washington, Brussels City Council Member Sergiu de Patul, and Dalian City Zhongshan District Official Lee Xiang Dung. About 500 family members of foreign company workers and 800 USFK service members also ran in the marathon.

They decided to donate $40,000 (about 40 million won) collected as funds to help the needy – 10,000 won out of their 20,000 won participation fee – to the “Korean War Memorial Square” to be created inside MacArthur Park in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The city of Little Rock, the hometown of General MacArthur, donated 465 pyeong of the memorial park. In this piece of land, a Korean War Memorial Square with MacArthur’s statue, as well as an octagonal-shaped traditional Korean fountain and a sculpture symbolizing the Incheon landing, will be created.

Koreans living in the U.S. and Hanam City, which has a sisterhood agreement with Little Rock, have created a “Korean War Memorial Project Committee” and have pursed building a square since April of last year. An official of the project said, “The total costs for the construction are about 500 million won, and the American side will pay about 100 million won, while the rest will be collected through donations, and we plan to have a ground-breaking ceremony on November 12 of this year.”

The rest of the funds collected during the marathon will be used to provide education material to Korean elementary schools in underdeveloped areas through the UNICEF, as well as improving education environment in North Korea, Africa and South Asia.

The marathon was divided in the four categories: the complete course (42.195 km), half-course, 10km, and 5km, with participants mingling with each other under the fall sky.

In the men’s amateur class, Cho Byung-guk (48) came in first place with a time of two hours 46 minutes and 11 seconds, and in the women’s amateur class Shim In-sook (38) came in first with a record of two hours 53 minutes and 54 seconds. In addition, Sergeant Major Hwang Ho-sung (51) of the National Command and Communications Command became the first active soldier to complete 100 full-course marathons and was awarded with a commemoration laurel.

Jae-Young Kim jaykim@donga.com