Dear Onyang: A Story of the Last Refugee Ship in the Heungnam Evacuation During the Korean War
Dear Onyang: A Story of the Last Refugee Ship in the Heungnam Evacuation During the Korean War is the English translation of the heartfelt Korean picture book “온양이” published by SAMTOH more than ten years ago. It is translated by the granddaughter of North Korean refugees who were rescued during the Heungnam evacuation.
Dear Onyang is a historical fiction based on the December 1950 evacuation of the port city of Heungnam during the Korean War. From December 15 to 24, the U.S.-led UN troops carried out an evacuation by sea for tens of thousands of North Korean refugees. These refugees traveled from the North Korean port of Heungnam to South Korea. This story follows nine year-old Myeong-ho, his pregnant mother, and younger brother Myeong-nam as they make the difficult journey from their village to the port. When Myeong-ho’s family finally manages to board the last ship, the Onyang, Myeong-ho’s mother gives birth to their younger sister, who they name after the ship.
A poignant story of life and hope, Dear Onyang encourages readers to shine a light on the dark memories of war to brighten the future before us. This book can be appreciated by young and old to have conversations about difficult topics such as the fear and uncertainty of war as well as the hope that can be found.