In search of justice for Imperialist Japan’s “comfort women,” a handful of residents in California joined a national grassroots movement to promote the historic House Resolution 121, aka ‘Comfort Women Resolution’, which unanimously passed on July 30, 2007.
In an effort to continue to raise awareness regarding this unresolved history, as well as to pressure the government of Japan to formally acknowledge and apologize for its past war crime of military sexual slavery, these citizen volunteers formed Korean American Forum of California a few years later. Our first effort was to build “comfort women” statue (The Peace Monument) in Glendale, California. This monument memorializes a history which should never again be repeated and acts as a gateway to teach the next generation the truth. Our efforts to raise public awareness and teach the next generation about this largely unknown, heinous war crime against women continue today.
Why we began:
We abhor the continual and ubiquitous state-sponsored wartime violation of women and children. We believe that one way to prevent such horrors as the “comfort women” experienced before and during World War II is to speak the full and unclouded truth about these painful stories to a global audience. It is our greatest hope to play our humble part in promoting this mission and thereby putting an end to wartime crimes against women and children.
*Halmoni (할머니): A familiar term for grandmother in Korean. We affectionately refer to the surviving Korean comfort women (all of whom are now in their 80s and 90s) as such. Filipina comfort women are also often referred to as Lolas, or grandmothers.