A sincere apology and asking for forgiveness only can bring about peace.
The Civilian Massacres carried out by South Korean troops during the Vietnam War was brought to the attention of the South Korean society in 1999, and it was soon followed by civic activism apologizing for the terrible wounds of the War. At that time, Korean Dentists Association for Healthy Society visited the massacres sites and provided dental care services for locals as a gesture of peace and reconciliation. The group of dentists, initially known as Medics for Vietnam peace and reconciliation, began its first dental care program in 2000, and finally changed its name to Medics for Vietnam Peace with the agreement of the members in 2002.
Every year Medics for Vietnam Peace organizes a team of medics paired with interpreters to conduct one-week long local healthcare programs. Our team of medics is composed of dentists, Korean medical doctors, dental hygienists, dental nurses, dental technologists, medical technicians, and activists. The interpreters are selected students in the Department of Korean Language and Studies at Universities in Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang cities. 1,186 medics and interpreters have participated in this journey, and served 25,492 dental patients and 8,563 Korean medical patients, so far in March 2018.
Along with the short-term annual program, Medics for Vietnam Peace has been committed to providing sustainable programs at the local level, which includes establishing a local liaison office, dispatching Korean medical doctors, conducting the supporting program for survivors and the dental care program for infants. We have also engaged in the anti-war movement, and, in 2011, registered as a non-profit corporation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea to widen our scope of activities.
This known memento, which can be observed on a visit to Auschwitz, urges us to remember the Civilian Massacres carried out by Korean troops during the Vietnam War. The historical fact reminds of the meaning of life and peace to people alive today. Medics for Vietnam Peace strives to go beyond medical volunteerism but aims to remember history and promote peace and genuine reconciliation.
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