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What Veteran’s Day Looks Like…

“Our nation honors
Her sons and daughter
Who answered the call
To defend a country
They never knew
And A People
They never met”

1950 Korea 1953

Quote from the Korean War Veterans Memorial

November/December are extremely busy months for photographers.  This post should’ve been posted last week, but you know how life goes…  so here is our November lifestyle post.

I attend the Santa Maria Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church and every year during the month of November, we celebrate Veteran’s Day.  We specifically ask those veterans who served in the Korean War to come to our church and have dinner together.  This year, the deaconesses made California rolls, noodles, tofu, egg rolls and I can’t remember what else for us to feast on.  I am usually in charge of putting the music program on to entertain the guests.  So the children’s choir dresses up in their Korean outfits called “hanbok” and sing the Star Spangled Banner, the Korean Anthem called Aegukga, and a few Korean folk songs for the veterans.  I will have to say, both the Star Spangled Banner and the Aegukga brings tears to my eyes.  You know when they play the national anthems while raising the flag during the Olympic medal ceremony…  my husband always stares at me like I need therapy or something because I get so emotional, haha.

Ok, back to Veteran’s Day.  Though I was born and raised in America, I still try to teach my children about the culture and history of Korea.  I also enjoy chatting with the veterans who come.  They are only but a few, however the number does not matter.  They always come in their blue jackets and their yearbooks and talk about old times.  I think about how difficult it was for them to go to a country halfway across the world, leaving their families behind.  The quote above makes me wonder if I could ever do such a thing, fight to preserve freedom for a people that are complete strangers.  “Freedom is not free”.  We also invite all the Korean senior citizens in town to join us for the evening.  I love seeing all the grandmothers and grandfathers, they remind me of my grandparents who used to live with me.  They talk to me like I am their grand-daughter and they start singing and dancing during the program.  If I didn’t have to play piano all evening, I would’ve taken more pictures.  Let me tell you, it was DRIVING ME CRAZY me that my camera was right there and I couldn’t shoot…  this one Grandma was going all out with her Korean dances, haha, I actually messed up because I couldn’t stop watching her.  We are not a huge church and our dinner and entertainment is not highly sophisticated, but it comes from our heart and I think the veterans truly appreciate that.  So, here are a few photos from the evening.  To all the veterans and soldiers around the world, thank you for protecting our freedom and rights.  We salute you.  (The video is of my daughter singing Arirang, the most famous folk song in Korea…  it’s mostly for my mom to see, haha)

Please continue on to my friend, Christy Williams of Bradenton, Florida to see what her life looked like in November.  Happy Holidays, everyone.

9 comments

What Naptime Looks Like - Stacey Woods Photography Blog » Stacey Woods Photography Blog - [...] continue the “What ________ Looks Like” lifestyle blog circle by visiting the talented Gina Oh | Arroyo Grand, CA Photographer.  She has some delightful lifestyle images to share with us, as always.  Enjoy the journey, [...]

Stephanie Moore {Tucson AZ Photographer} - Love this Gina. I love the color and the lifestyle shots you got. I love how you teach your kids about Korea, that is so important. your daughter singing is adorable!!

crave photography - Gina, this is wonderful and really tells a story! Amazing as always!!

jules - this is such a wonderful day of celebration! how great to have the community pull together to honor these special people.

christy - Oh Gina, this post has brought me to tears and made me giggle all at the same time (therapy, ha!)! I think you are an amazing woman and how long have we been friends and I did not know you played the piano! We really need to chat more! Seriously tho, we are a deeply patriotic family as well and I am so proud of you for all that you do for the Korean vets and seniors. Your pictures tell a beautiful story my friend.

Kirsty-Abu Dhabi - Oh gosh your girls are just gorgeous – and I too cry at almost any national anthem – especially those of countries I’ve lived in – they are so evocative and symbolic of a whole host of memories and emotions

Pam - Gina,
I am thankful that your church home honors the Korean War vetrans.
My father is also a Korean Vetran.
Thank you.

Pam - Excuse me—VETERAN! Sorry.

Wendy - Gina, I didn’t know you play piano. You are so multi talented! Love the steeple silhouette. These totallybhave your signature style, Gina. Love them all.

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