There are soldiers buried in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan
whose bodies were not returned to their home countries.
Examining the grave markers, you see that some were very young,
teenagers fighting a war that consumed them before they’d lived.
Then there are those who died after the war, some even very recently,
and you wonder why they’re buried here given the Korean War ended in 1953.
There are those veterans who chose to live out their lives here in Korea,
a land they fell in love with during the war and wished never to leave.
There are also those here who married Korean women,
are buried in their adopted country along with their spouses.
And then there are those who requested that when they died,
living in whichever country they came from to fight the war,
they be sent back to lie side by side with comrades who died here,
a good friend gone, perhaps, with whom they wish to spend eternity,
or simply to share common ground, a gathering of souls with whom they served.