Bridging the abyss of revenge

Forgiveness in politics

"For almost 50 years, South Korean villagers have insisted that early in the Korean War, American soldiers machine-gunned hundreds of helpless civilians under a railroad bridge near a hamlet some 100 miles southeast of Seoul," read a front-page article in the New York Times. "When survivors and victims' relatives told their story, and sought redress, they met only rejection and denial, from the United States military and from their own government."

The story is now hard to deny. The memories of a dozen American soldiers, interviewed by the Associated Press, and the persistence of two national councils of churches—Korean and American—have brought to light one of the few documented intentional killings of civilians by an American army unit.

 

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