In order to express his appreciation to Senator Mark Kirk for all the work the senator has done for the Korean American divided families, Cardinal Nicholas Chung (정진섭추기경) and his senior officials visited Capitol Hill in September, 2007.   At the meeting, Senator Kirk briefed the Cardinal and the senior Catholic officials about the political efforts he had made and the current political situation with North Korea.  The meeting was followed by a news conference.  See then-Congressman Mark Kirk’s office press release. 

 This is a historical moment for the separated families and the Korean-American community.   The lives of these two great men have crossed on common ground concerning more than 50 years of the tragedy which the separated families have suffered.  The people who left their children and spouses are now in their late 80's and 90's, most separated family members are in their 70's and 80's, and within 10 years, most of us will be gone from this earth.  Thanks to the Congressman's 6 and a half years of effort and dedication, we now have the Congressional Committee with 11 commissioners, and we expect that more members will join the commission.

     At this juncture of separated family history, witnessing the Cardinal joining with the congressman on our issue and blessing the congressman's efforts and dedication to the Korean community is simply overwhelming.  On behalf of the separated families, I am also grateful to Dr. Steve Linton of the Eugene Bell Foundation and Attorney Marion Spina for making this historical event happen.  Thank you.  Chahee Lee Stanfield


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