It was in 1973 when I was a second grader at Sangmyeong school when you were with an American design firm named Trans-Asia Engineers (TAE) in Main Post of Yongsan Garrison. You had to pick me up at my school in Samkakji as my class ended about 2 p.m. While you had to stay with a large slanted drafting board until five in the afternoon, I walked around the offices peeking into here and there.
I have beautiful memories of Yongsan. I really do! My time there was magical; something I’ll always treasure and never forget. It may have been a military base, but I can assure you that my friends and I knew that something unique was going on there. It was a time when everyone got along, loved Korea and looked on people as friends. I wish the rest of the world could have had the same experience.
“If we knew each other. If we understood each other as a friend. This foolish war would never have happened. I sincerely hope that a day would come where everyone could overcome their differences through talking and not fighting. Finally, we are friends now,” the former Imperial Japanese Navy pilot who had dropped the first and only bomb onto the American soil, wrote in his diary.
The blue print showing the west area of the Main Post Yongsan Garrison was one of the hundreds of topographic maps plotted by the engineers and surveyors of Trans-Asia Engineering Associates, Inc. (TAE). It had been performed some time in late 1959 and early 1960.