October 1 is the Armed Forces Day of the Republic of Korea. It was the day that the third division of the Korean army began marching toward the North above the 38 line during the Korean War. The decision to advance to the North was based on the society's mood in the 1950s and the post-war conflicts between the two Koreas. Due to this historical background, some argue that a new date should be destinated. Perhaps this argument can be accepted once the Korean peninsula is unified.
Then what is the best day to commemorate the military? It'll not be easy to pick a date that satisfies everybody. How about each armed forces celebrate its foundation day as they did before designating the Armed Forces Day and expand Memorial Day and Veterans Day on October 8 to be more meaningful by holding events conducted during the Armed Forces Day?
What our society needs now is to recover the sense of respect toward the military and the members of the armed forces. Just because such respect was forced and people suffered unjust experiences during their military services, it should not impair the essential value of the national defense and the military.
Titus Livius was a Roman historian in the days of Julius Caesar. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled Ab Urbe Condita. Livius wrote the books because he wanted to be wary of the sense of complacency rampant across the young generation in Rome at the time. Rome became the superpower of the Mediterranean sea after winning the Punic War. It took only 150 years the people began to loosened about self-defense. In Korea's case, it was only 50 years after that the society began experiencing a complete change of mood.
One of the biggest mistakes the existing generation believes is that what they had learned from their ordeal and suffering would be passed on to the next generation. The new generation's mistake is believing their desire and complaints are much fresher and healthier than the older generation. However, half of the young generation’s desire is just emotional resistance. If things go wrong, this can lead to a crisis in a brief period. Livius' attempts seem successful as Rome survived for several centuries afterward. After the collapse of East Rome, West Rome succeeded in its legacy for the following 1000 years. What will become of Korea's future?