Commemorating the many soldiers from throughout the world who gave their lives during the Korean War, the UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan is actually the only United Nations cemetery in the world.
It’s an eerie place to wander around (the fact that I only saw about three or four other people while I was there added to this feeling). I’ve been to other graveyards, but there was something about this one that was particularly grim, and oddly moving. There are over 2300 graves here, mostly for young men who were barely old enough to buy a drink.
On my way to the cemetery, an old man in a park stopped me and asked me where I was from. When I told him Canada, he thanked me for Canada’s contributions to the war, and it’s like, jeez, don’t thank me. If I had been alive in the ’50s, there’s no way I would have fought in that war. There was no draft for that one in Canada, but if there were, I can pretty much guarantee you I would have dodged it. No thanks.
But Canada is one of the bigger presences in this cemetery, with hundreds of graves and even a statue to commemorate its soldiers.
And there was someone else at the cemetery who, I’m sure, would have joined me in my hypothetical draft-dodging. This guy:
Me and cats — lookin’ out for number one.