CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea (November 18, 2021) – Two years after Kang Ik-joong collaborated with elementary school youth at Camp Humphreys, he donated their Operation Kiddy Car artwork to the elementary school Humphreys Central at an unveiling ceremony on November. 16.
Tales of Lt. Col. Dean Hess, fighter pilot, Staff Sgt. Mike Strang, Assistant Chaplain, and Col. Russell L. Blaisdell, Chaplain, and how their actions in combat saved 1,000 Korean orphans during the Korean War will be remembered for years to come thanks to the Operation Kiddy Car.
“About two years ago we had a soldier who decided he wanted this to work,” said Tiffany Bryant, principal of Humphreys Central Elementary School. “It was a partnership that we set up as a school. We have also partnered with Humphreys West. The history of the Kiddy Car project was provided to the students so that they better understand what they are about to be a part of.
The administrators of Humphreys School educated their students on the importance of Operation Kiddy Car and the symbolism behind the creation of the play.
“The stories of their sacrificial love and care for orphans through Operation Kiddy Car inspire us to selflessly serve others and encourage us to stand strong in the face of the uncertainty of the future in our lives,” said requested Major David Ko, US Army Garrison Humphreys in charge of Chaplain Resources.
A total of one thousand 3 by 3 tiles make up the room, with each tile depicting one of the children who was evacuated in 1950. The designs on the individual tiles represent the children’s future careers. American students designed 960 of the pieces, and Kang donated 40 of some of his other artwork.
“Hundreds of individually designed works of art have been brought to this special exhibit, which has embodied the relationship of compassion and engagement between the United States and South Korea for 70 years,” added Bryant.
The background of the exhibition is a shadow uniting the individual tiles. It is a depiction of the transport plane used to pull families and orphans from Seoul during the operation, according to Bryant.
“It is very special that the artwork commemorating the 70th anniversary of Operation Kiddy Car has found its permanent home at Humphreys Central Elementary School,” said Colonel Seth C. Graves, Garrison Commander. of the US Army at Humphreys. “Artist Ik-Joong Kang and hundreds of Humphreys elementary school students have created a masterpiece that recalls the evacuation of nearly 1,000 Korean children in 1950 and strengthens the rock-solid alliance between Korea and the United States.