Thursday, August 10th, 1950
“Mother, today I killed a man…I threw a terrifying device called a hand grenade and it killed him instantly. The explosion nearly tore out my own ear drums. Even as I write at this moment, my ear is filled with a dreadful echo. But as much as an enemy they are to me, it pains my heart knowing that the people I’m shooting at are my people who I share the same blood and language with. And as if death is approaching, my fellow student comrades lay hopelessly in the sun, as if the enemy might advance any moment. However, talking to you eases my disturbed mind. The enemy is dead silent, I do not know when they shall strike.They have countless foes, we only have 71. I am scared because I do not know what to do next. Mother, there is a chance I might die today. It’s unlikely that those numerous North Korean soldiers. Would just ignore us and march on. Dear mother, it’s not that I’m afraid of death. I’m just afraid that I shall never see you or my siblings again. However, I shall live. I promise I will survive.
Mother, my aching heart is starting to settle now.
Mother, I shall survive and be at your side again.
I crave a fresh lettuce wrap right now. I want to slurp down on cold noodles until my teeth fall off beside the waterfall…
Ah, the enemies are coming now.
I shall write again. Mother goodbye! Goodbye! Ah, this is not a goodbye. For I shall write again. Until then…”
– letter discovered on the body of South Korean soldier Lee Woo Geun, killed three days after writing it during the defense of Seoul