The next place we visited that day was the United Nations Memorial Cemetery (English). This cemetery is truly beautiful and a must see if you are in Busan. It is literally this vibrantly green patch of land in the middle of a modern metropolitan city; I suppose you could liken the effect Central Park has on Manhattan. However, unlike Central Park, since this is a cemetery, it is has a more contemplative air and almost surreal in the stark contrast between the quiet tranquility and the bustle of the city just beyond its walls.
Here at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, the only one of its kind in the world, rest heroic brave soldiers from a number of UN nations, who sacrificed their lives for world peace and freedom.
Continued from Part 16: The Busan Museum
To start from the beginning go to Part 1: Flying to Tokyo
Besides the cemetery itself there is a small church and bathrooms on the grounds. The bathrooms were super nice, I'm talking marble sinks and cherry wood doors for bathroom stalls. My aunt said a lot of foreign dignitaries have ceremonies or visit to pay their respects, so this place is always kept in tiptop shape.
Walking down one of the walkways down to the cemetery....
Size-wise the cemetery is pretty small but it is beautifully tended and you can tell a lot of thought went into the design.
This is a pic I took of a marker for a Turkish soldier; it's no coincidence since I distinctly remember thinking at the time, gosh there are a lot of markers for Turkish soldiers... Little did I know that Turkey and Korea have a uniquely close relationship! Ask A Korean made a stellar post a few days ago (perfect timing!) about how South Koreans feel about Turkish people.
Why Turkey? For this simple reason -- during Korean War, Turkey sent soldiers in aid of South Korea. In fact, Turkey sent the most number of soldiers (5,460) after the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, and had the most number of casualties (741 dead, 2,068 wounded, 163 MIA) following United States and United Kingdom among those countries that sent soldiers.
South Korea considers Turkey a "blood ally" (혈맹), which is the first thing my dad said when I asked him what he thought of Turkey. As for my mom, she simply remarked, "They helped us during the war, have the same values, AND like kdramas! What's not to love?" ^_^;;; Anyway, it just warms the cockles of my heart to read about things like this.
Last note, HOW AWESOME ARE THOSE TREES?!?! If a Christmas tree and a bonsai had babies, this is what you'd get. Are they trimmed that way? Do they grow that way naturally? I must have one....
And some more Busan wanderings....