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Final Editorial – Closing Down the Project

The Korean War Children’s Memorial Project is now closing down. The goals have all been met and all that remains is to pay the bills and dispose of the assets of the organization.

How does one go about closing down a project such as this? Well, for one thing, we have to make sure that the documents and photos that have been collected are deposited in many different archives and libraries so they are not again lost and so they are kept together to tell the story of the GIs and the Kids in the Korean War. We will be depositing CDs with a copy of all of the digitized material gathered in this project with the US National Archives, the Korean National Archives, the US Korean War National Museum and Library, the Korean War Museum in Seoul, the Center for the Study of the Korean War in Kansas, the archives of the City of Gwangju, Korea, and the archives of the Korean War Orphanage Museum being created by Rev. Hae Ryang Yoo Kim in Gwangju, Korea.

The original copy of the photo exhibit that was first shown at the MGM Gand in Las Vegas, Nevada is now in Korea and has Hangul sub-titles. It is owned by Rev. Hae Ryang Yoo Kim as part of her museum project. Two other copies are now in the process of completion and are owned by the US National Korean War Veterans Museum and Library in Springfield, Illinois and will be made available to organizations desiring to show them in their community.

The material for printing a second edition of the booklet “GIs and the Kids – A Love Story” including the production PDF files will be sent to the Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library in Springfield, Illinois. They will also be given the copyright to that document.

All material that originated in Korea (paintings by the orphans, Christmas cards made by the orphans, correspondence from orphanage administrators, etc.) will be returned to Korea and deposited with the Korean War Orphanage Museum in Gwangju. I have already sent to the US Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library print copies of most of the photographs that I collected and print copies of most of the documents. Any duplicate copies will be sent to the Korean War Orphanage Museum in Gwangju, Korea.

Project correspondence, fiscal records and personal material shall be boxed and sent to the US Korean War National Museum and Library for the use of anyone who wants to know more about operation of this project, the details of how all of the goals were met, where the money came from and where it went. (Another source of information in regard to the fiscal aspects of this project will be the Whatcom Community Foundation in Bellingham, Washington, which served as fiscal agent for this project. All their data are available for inspection at any time. As project Coordinator I would submit invoices to the Whatcom Community Foundation for payment. No donated funds went directly to me.)

By 31 December, 2006 the Korean War Children’s Memorial Project of the City of Bellingham Park and Recreation Department will have officially closed its doors. Unofficially I shall still be here, still answering e-mails from Korean War orphans and still trying to raise money to pay the remaining bills.

I hope all of you readers and users of this web site have found it of value. It gives me deep pleasure to know how many lives it has touched.

More time will now be spent at home with my wife who recently broke her neck in a fall and needs my help in many ways. I have to spend time getting the house “handicapped friendly” for us older folk. After all, we are almost 77 years old, time to slow down a bit, methinks.

My love to you all and my deep and profound thanks to the many persons who volunteered their time, their energy and their money to help realize the goals of this project.

George F. Drake
20 September 2006

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