How my grandparents met during war

How my grandparents met during war

When I was younger, I always used to think that everyone’s grandparents lived with them. I was lucky enough to always have them there but their journey was unique and is why they are not only special grandparents but special people as well.

In 1950, the Korean War began which was a scary time for all involved but especially my grandma since she lived in Seoul, which is the capital of South Korea.

According to the History network, the Korean War began when armed forces from communist North Korea broke through the border and invaded South Korea. The United States acted swiftly to defend South Korea under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.

A young soldier by the name of Edward Peter Devine was sent to Korea to be a cook for the soldiers and if anything needed to be done, he was there to help. Little did he know he would be finding his future wife in the coming years having been brought to the country because of war.

My family together for the holidays. Grandparents seated third to the left and third to the right. Photo by James Pettus

On Oct. 4, 1965, Edward Devine married Sun Tok Kwon in Seoul many years after the war ended. They both came back to the U.S. to start their lives together. War is always a terrible occurrence in our world and some people call it a necessary evil but what’s important is that something so terrible caused something very special.

I was very young when my grandfather passed away but the memories I have of him will always be special to me and things I will never forget. He would always tell me how the army was and so many stories about his time overseas. He was a huge Phillies fan which rubbed off on my grandma because for as long as I can remember, she hasn’t missed a single game on T.V.

My grandmother has always been in my life even before I could remember. She helped raise me alongside my grandfather and parents. She means the world to me because all throughout my early education she would wake up every morning to make me breakfast and send me off with a hug.

To think that the only reason I’m in her life is basically because of war is amazing to me. Something so terrible can change the future for many. Some may have lost loved ones while others gained happiness. Marriages in the war were very common during World War II and the Korean War according to Armstrong. They were so common that eventually, politicians had to create laws just so GIs could bring their new wives back.

My grandparents on their wedding day in Seoul. Photo by James Pettus

The emergence of these new marriages only came about after World War I according to Armstrong. This could be due to the period that the U.S. was involved in the war.

My opinions on these types of marriages are only positive. I am sure some of these marriages did not work out but in the case of my grandparents it worked out just fine. I saw the love and care they had for each other my entire childhood. In the end, love is love and if you love someone, meeting in a strange or unique way isn’t a big deal. I believe people need to take that message away from this story. You can meet someone in the strangest ways but as long as you love and care for them, you can live together happily.

I’m truly so thankful that my grandparents met in such a unique and special way. Seeing pictures of the wedding and of the times they spent together makes me so happy. I’m also proud of the culture my grandmother brought with her. I can proudly say my grandmother is from South Korea.