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This photo is from the collection of Memory of Forgotten War by Ramsay and Deann Liem. It was featured in the March 2013 issue of the Korean Quarterly.


There are four abandoned children in this picture including a baby bundled up in a quilt. 

During the Korean War, some family members were separated at the beaches.  When there was a boat for the refugees, the situation was chaotic with crowds racing to the boat.  It was an impossible situation for single mothers to get to the boats carrying their luggage and taking young children to the boats in the deep icy cold water or sometimes in the rough current in the dark.

Therefore, mothers told their children to stay where they were on the beach, and they would return to get them after putting luggage on the boats.  However, the boats became crowded right away and the boats left abruptly to prevent overloading while mothers who got caught in the chaos didn’t even have the chance to jump into the water to get back to their children.
I personally know someone whose mother left her two young children on the Hwang He seashore.  While she was unloading her luggage onto the boat, North Korean soldiers suddenly showed up and started shooting.  The boat took off abruptly, and the crowd pushed the hysterical mother down by force because bullets were flying everywhere.  Years later, she died in Chicago.  On her death bed, she told her son that by all means he had to find his siblings in North Korea in his life time and beg them for forgiveness from their mother.