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C. Rangel: Address to Third Rally of Hope 2020

 Address to Third Rally of Hope 2020, November 22, 2020

I want to specially thank Mother Moon for the sacrifices she has made to bring parliamentarians, religious leaders, and world leaders together to pause, to pray, and to work toward peace. I especially thank my dear friend Dan Burton, who I served with in the United States House of Representatives.

It is especially important not only for the world and the United States of America, but for me personally, that you have selected this “war” in Korea. I hesitate to say “war” because, in June 1950, I served in the Army with the Second Infantry Division, and we were advised by our commander in chief, President Harry Truman, that the United Nations was going, not to war, but to engage in a police action to stop the invasion of the Communists into South Korea.

Most of us had no idea as to what that meant. But I can tell you this: We went from Busan to the Nakdong River, advanced to the 38th Parallel, passed Pyongyang, and stayed on the borders of the Yalu River. To our complete surprise, we were surrounded by tens of thousands of Chinese communist forces. It was a massacre, and only a handful of the soldiers in my unit were able to survive it.

Some were captured, others wounded, but many of us were just left for dead. Annually, we would communicate with each other, but as the years passed by, our numbers dwindled.

This Rally of Hope is important because so many of you have come together, not to talk about war, but to lay down the swords and to talk about peace. Because, as I said, November 30 was the worst nightmare anybody had ever witnessed: Tens of thousands of enemies clashing with UN forces, hearing the moans, the sound of the bugles, the sight of the horses. Who can ever say that God made human beings in His likeness for them to continue to fight, kill and destroy?

I was wounded, left for dead, yet survived. When I left Korea, I said to myself, “I never, never, want to return to this situation that brought so much misery and pain to me.”

But over the years, as I served in Congress and visited the great leaders in South Korea, I was able to see that the country that I left, that was reduced to ashes, hopelessness and pain, grew out of these ashes to become a symbol of democracy, freedom, and economic expansion, and an ally to the great United States of America.

So, being able to not talk about war today, but seventy years later, to talk about peace, is so important. God did not create us—no matter what religion we have, or no religion at all—to destroy each other.

To think that all of you, over the years, under the leadership of Mother Moon, have come to see whether your voices can be heard through the insanity that we go through with people destroying each other, has allowed me to believe that there is hope.

Congratulations for your great work.

I look forward to supporting the aims and goals of your mission and, as the late John Lewis would say, “Never give up, never give out, and never give in.”

God bless all of you, and thank you so much for this humbling opportunity.

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