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A Century Of One Voice Together! Who Is Korean American? by John Suh, Organizing Chairperson Rose Parade Korean Centennial Committee

Our forefathers came to these strange shores called America a century ago, worked long hours as laborers and servants, all for one thing, one thing only, the future of their children, especially their education. This spirit is well and alive today. They built their lives around their faith and drew solace from fellow believers, and all the while, they carried on the culture that they had inherited from their fathers and mothers from another place, another time.

Their motherland was taken away from them, the land of morning calm, which they loved and longed for. They joined their hands together to recover the lost country, giving what they could for the independence movement, picking oranges, peaches, grapes, and pineapples as though the future of beloved Korea depended on their work. When Korea became independent, we shared happy tears with fellow Koreans back in motherland. We cried sad tears when tragedy struck Korea, so illogical that our brothers and sisters would destroy each other without mercy. We persevered, we prayed, and we shared the struggles with fires, floods, IMF, and other disasters.

When we faced our own disasters here, chief among them the 4.29 riot, we joined our hands together, the old, the young, men, women, boys and girls, and we pitched in to fight the fireball, didn't we? Northridge earthquake saw young people running through rubbles with medicine and water bottles.

A century of one voice together! That is our legacy. We have inherited the legacy, the precious 100-year legacy that preserved our forefather's spirit and the pride in our heritage despite the trying circumstances.

It is up to us now to groom with care our Proud Past, Promising Future.



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