My Earliest Memory

Korean Rice Field. Photo by Loifotos for Pexels
Korean Rice Field. Photo by Loifotos for Pexels

My earliest memory is of the Korean War, a little talked about war in which so many Americans died fighting. Because I was so young, I don’t have many clear memories about the war. The only thing I vividly remember, from the lens of a young child, is endlessly walking a narrow path between two rice fields. My mom, two sisters, and my brother and me were returning home to our clan village after having been evacuated because of the war. As a teenager, I witnessed the horrors of the bloody revolution in the streets of Seoul. After a coup d’état a year later came a military junta. Until I left Korea, I had lived under dictatorships so I appreciate our freedoms here in America no matter how bad things get. My younger sister who came to America at age 19 (chain migration) and attended college during the height of Nixon’s Watergate, asked with disbelief, “Can people say those words about the president?”

Categorized as General

By Wondra

Wondra Chang was born in South Korea and has lived in the U.S. since 1970. Her writing discipline began at age ten, writing five short stories a day under the tutelage of a writing teacher. She won first place in a province-wide in-person writing competition. She studied journalism at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives with her husband, Bernard Rauch.