Last resting place of Korea’s forgotten heroes.
I’m not an overly religious man. So my admiration for the what these early predecessors of ours did, has nothing to do with their identity as flag-bearers for the Church’s inroads on the peninsula. But the sacrifices they made and the hardships they endured to help Korea are so far beyond our realm as foreigners in Korea today, I feel they deserve at least a mention in Korea’s history textbooks. Many of them weren’t even affiliated with the effort to convert the locals at all and, for whatever reason — perhaps altruism or the buzzing of preordainment that accompanies the assumption of a noble cause — took up the banner and fought for Korea until their dying breath.
Worth a mention:
Ernest Bethel – Founded the Korea Daily News and used the publication as a mouthpiece to denounce Japanese treatment of Koreans despite the Imperial Army’s attempts to thwart him at every turn. He was finally sued by the Japanese Residency-General and thrown in jail. His struggle drove him to the bottle and he died of cardiac enlargement.
Horace Underwood – founder of Seoul YMCA and Yonsei University
Henry Appenzeller – a major figure in the foundation of Pai Chai University. Perished while swimming to aid a Korean girl who was struggling to stay afloat after her boat capsized in the waters near Mokpo.
Homer Hulburt – British journalist whose headstone reads: “I would rather be buried in Korea than in Westminster Abbey.”
Mary F. Scranton – Episcopal missionary who founded Ewha Womans University. <sic, but not incorrect: that’s the proper spelling for that era>
Douglas Avison – founder of Severance Hospital (the eponymous Mr. Severance, who put up the money for Korea’s first modern hospital, stated that his joy in giving the funds was even greater than felt by those on the receiving end).