300 Words: Escape

He made sacrifices for his children and later for their children. He survived so they could be happy.  He wanted a better life. He was trapped and wanted out. He escaped North Korea.

When he was 16 he lived in North Korea with his parents and siblings in the year 1950 during the Korean War.

He found the perfect opportunity to escape; because the war was going on so the borders were less monitored.

Photo Courtesy of Julie Koh
Claire Koh with her grandfather, Eung bo Koh or Benjamin Koh.

Unfortunately, he could go only by himself. His siblings were too young and his parents were too old.

He traveled through the mountains. He swam out into the water to a boat.

This boat took him to South Korea.

South Korea- where he experienced freedom for the first time, where he met his wife, and where is new life began.

They had a daughter and later a son, starting a new family never forgetting about the family, his parents and siblings, he had to leave behind.

When his son was four the new family left South Korea for America another opportunity for a better life.

No English. No money. No friends. Nothing but the clothes on their backs. Nothing but each other.

He believed in a better life for them.

America gave him the opportunity: for a job to support his new family. For Christianity. For his wife to be a doctor.  

He did not want to feel trapped, confined, cut off, shut in any longer.

He made the sacrifices that had to be made to create a better life for his family today.

How could someone leave their family just to start a new one?

He left for his future family. He left for his granddaughter, Claire Koh.

She has the opportunity to vote. To go to college. To travel. To be free.