President 박근혜, the first female president of the Republic of Korea, came to Washington this week...and made the rounds. She had meetings at the White House, gave a speech to a Joint Session of Congress and went to Arlington National Cemetery to pay tribute to those who died in the Korean War.
She also hosted a wonderful dinner at the Smithsonian Museum as part of the 60th anniversary of the Korean-American partnership forged during the Korean war. The evening was full of tributes and thank you’s..to the veterans who served during the Korean War and to the many others in uniform who have continued to serve over the years. And to the Peace Corps volunteers who served in Korea between 1966 and 1981. We were well represented on the guest list - with nearly 45 returned volunteers present, including former Ambassador Kathleen Stevens who gave the final remarks of the evening and delighted the crowd with some well chosen phrases in 한국말.
All in all, a lovely evening. One of the highlights of the evening for me was an encounter I had with a woman who was busy serving dessert - she asked if I had been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Korea. When I said ‘yes’ she said that she had served in Nepal in the 1990s....and was just delighted by the tribute and acknowledgement we received at the banquet. Yes, it was a wonderful event!
Click here to see more photos.
(Thank you to Gerry Krzic, Ben Bryan and Margaret Pollack for the photos)