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T. Walsh: Opening Remarks for Rally of Hope, November 22, 2020

Opening Remarks for Rally of Hope, November 22, 2020

It is my high honor and privilege to share a few words with you at the outset of this 3rd Rally of Hope. I am deeply grateful to the leadership and wise guidance of Dr. Hak Ja Moon, and to the many eminent and very distinguished leaders who will deliver keynote addresses today.

The Rally of Hope Series is sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, and is dedicated to building a unified world of peace. Its impact is being felt in every corner of the world.

Today’s Rally, being viewed by millions, commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, and honors those veterans who served during that conflict, sometimes knows as the “forgotten war”.

It is estimated that the war caused 3 million fatalities, and brought about the complete devastation of the infrastructure of the peninsula.

One can only imagine what it took for South Korea to rise in such a relatively short time from the ashes of utter devastation to stand today as one of the leading nations of the world.

The Korean War began only five years after the end of World War II and five years after the signing of the United Nations Charter.

Without the intervention of the United Nations Security Council that set up a Security Command consisting of a 16-nation peace force, the Republic of Korea would no doubt have fallen permanently.

While the armistice was signed in 1953, no peace treaty was ever signed. The two nations are in this respect still at war, separated by a demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel.

The defense of the Republic of Korea was a defense of the Korean people, their national sovereignty, their political, economic and religious freedom.

UPF’s founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, was born in Anju, North Korea in 1943. Her grandmother and mother, both deeply devout believers, had been imprisoned by the Communist Party of North Korea for their religious beliefs, beliefs which included the strong conviction that the nation of Korea, and Dr. Moon particularly, had a central role to play in God’s providence.

In order to escape persecution, in 1948, as a very young girl, she and her mother and grandmother, made a daring, dangerous and desperate journey by foot over more than 200 kilometers of rough terrain from their hometown to the 38th parallel.

Not long after settling as refugees in the South, the war broke out.

Were it not for the intervention of the UN Forces, Dr. Moon would not have been able to carry out her providential mission. This is also holds true for her late husband, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, also born in North Korea, where he too had been imprisoned for preaching God’s word.

Many Korean families are still tragically separated by the 38th parallel. Many died without ever being reunited with their loved ones.

Please understand, however, this Rally of Hope series is not merely reflecting on the suffering of the past. On the contrary, this Rally of Hope is part of UPF’s global effort to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula, guided by the principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

This Rally of Hope works to inspire and build a global alliance across all continents dedicated to the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula, and the creation of a peaceful unified world. Toward this end, we are building a global coalition of stakeholders and peacebuilders, representing governments, religion, civil society, business, the media, and academia, working hand in hand, with one heart and one goal, to overcome the barriers that divide us, in order to create one universal family under God.

Throughout 2020, UPF chapters around the world have been convening hundreds of programs toward this end. Over the next two years those programs will increase dramatically. We need your help.

Those who sacrificed themselves for peace throughout human history have not done so in vain.

Let us work to fulfill the hope of the United Nations. Let us work to fulfill the hope of all the world’s great religions. Let us work to fulfill the hope of every man woman and child. Indeed, let us work to fulfill the very hope of God, our Heavenly Parent.

Please join us. Let us work together. Dr. Moon has said that “the dawn of a new history is growing brighter.” Let us advance swiftly toward new history. Thank you very much.

To go back to the report on the Third Rally of Hope, click here.