(Press Release) — Winners has adopted a site that’s close to its founding owner’s heart — the Korean Peace Memorial in Marpi.
Built in 1981, the Korean Peace Memorial is dedicated to the nearly 1,000 Koreans who died on Saipan in 1944 during World War II in the Battle of Saipan. These men and women were brought by the Japanese government to the island to work in sugarcane farms, but later served in the Japanese army and were among the more than 50,000 soldiers and civilians (based on the story on “Operation Forager: The Battle of Saipan” posted in the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command’s website) that perished in the three-week battle.
“Winners, under the leadership of P&A Corp founding owner, Hong Kyun Kim, adopted the Korean Peace Memorial to memorialize the Korean nationals’ sacrifices during World War II. Koreans are very patriotic and value the lives lost during the war. Taking care of the Korean Peace Memorial is our way of giving respect to our ancestors and of reminding everyone to never forget or take for granted these sacrifices,” said P&A Corp./Winners general manager Doyi Kim.
“The Korean Peace Memorial is a testament to Koreans’ contributions to the freedom we are enjoying now. It is very important the current and future generations, especially [for] us Koreans, to remember the hardships of war and honor our forefathers,” she added.
Winners and its mother company P&A Corp., which is into laundry and apartment rental business, are one of the many private companies that have adopted various sites in the CNMI in support of the Public Private Partnership — an initiative of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers that works on destination transformation on all three islands.
The San Antonio-based company will be conducting regular maintenance work and improvement projects at the memorial site, which is one of the frequent stops for visitors touring the historic and scenic northern end of Saipan. In 2005, Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made a historic visit to the Korean Peace Memorial — the first time the emperor has paid respect at a monument specifically dedicated to Koreans killed in World War II.
As part of its commitment to take care of the Korean Peace Memorial, Winners replaced the torn Korean, U.S., and CNMI flags at the monument with new ones and had a cleanup drive last December. Later this month, Winners will do touch up jobs and preservation work on “Jang Seung” or the Korean traditional statues and clear the area of overgrown vegetation. The group has also scheduled repair work for the “Sotdae” or the Korean traditional wind vane next month.