Never Forgotten: The Return of Our War Dead from North Korea

If no additional good comes from President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un, let us at least acknowledge how good it is to give our soldiers a proper funeral. If the remains of 55 Americans did not take root in Pyongyang, if the land of the living dead was no place to break ground and bury our dead, if all North Korea was—and is—a necrocracy, if it is a government of the murdered, by the murderers, for the murderers, let us take increased devotion from those 55 men who gave the last full measure of their devotion.

Let the sunlight of truth expose the lie about the “Forgotten War.” Let it shine throughout this peninsula of darkness north of the 38th parallel, where a crime family stuffs itself while its citizens starve; where a tyrant lives in an island of splendor amidst a sea of squalor; where famine not only weakens the body but tires the mind, so the power of the state can crush the will to resist; where freedom is as foreign to the enslaved as it is to their slave master.

I have no illusions about North Korea. The receipt of our war dead, in a conflict the North started and we ended in stalemate, is neither magnanimous nor merciful. It is not a gift, though Kim may view it as such. Nor is our gratitude an endorsement of what is, when history proves what will be: that tyrants never restrain themselves; that they may pause between meals, after erasing borders from the map and peoples from the earth, but their hunger always returns; that they will sign almost anything and honor nothing; that they overreach by underestimating their enemies, until the regime they end is their own.

Let there be no doubt about North Korea. If it refuses to learn from history, it will leave itself to the ash-heap of history.

We will write that history.

Photo credit: Kim Hong-Ji-Pool/Getty Images

About Ashley Hamilton

Ashley Hamilton is an artist and father, who lives in Malibu and seeks to express the truth through his work.

Photo: PYEONGTAEK, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 27: A soldier carries a casket containing a remain of a U.S. soldier who were killed in the Korean War during a ceremony at Osan Air Base on July 27, 2018 in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. North Korea returned the remains of some U.S. soldiers who died during the 1950-53 Korean War on Friday, following through on a promise North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un made to U.S. President Donald Trump when the leaders met in Singapore on June 12. (Photo by Kim Hong-Ji - Pool/Getty Images)

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