first visited this historic land of Korea in 1950 as a member of the U.S. Tenth Corps, which landed at Inchon and liberated it. Two of my grandsons were born in Korea during the time my son served as executive assistant to the United Nations Commander. Thus you might say that the Haig family is part Korean, nourished by three generations of experience!
I’m particularly honored to introduce Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Together we have seen our paths converge on several important occasions, if not physically then certainly episodically.
He was born near North Korea’s capital Pyongyang. After high school in Japan, he returned home and began to promote Christian values in clear opposition to the Godless communism which had gripped the northern half of the peninsula. Shortly after the invasion of the Republic in June 1950, Rev. Moon was imprisoned and sent to a concentration camp near Hung Nam on North Korea’s east coast.
Shortly after the Inchon landings, I was a part of the second United Nations amphibious landing near Hung Nam. That action resulted in the liberation of Rev. Moon, who was able to flee to freedom in South Korea. This was the first time our paths crossed.
During the next two decades we both in our own way struggled against communist tyranny and for the establishment of a world characterized by rule of law and peaceful change in contrast to a world dominated by the rule of the bayonet and violent change.
In the early 1970s, during the period I served as President Nixon’s Chief of Staff, Rev. Moon came to America to launch his ministry. Then, as today, his ministry was based on our most cherished Judeo-Christian values: that the family unit was to be safeguarded and strengthened, that our youth need to be provided with sound moral education, and that our religious institutions, regardless of denomination, must play a pivotal role in these tasks.
In carrying out his mission during that troubled time in America, the Rev. Moon and his Unification Church promoted the concept that the Watergate-besieged president of the United States was as entitled to due process and full protection of the law as any other American citizen. He opposed a process dominated by emotion, hatred or base political motivation. Being at the center of that Watergate maelstrom, I have been grateful to Rev. Moon, who as a result was himself subjected to retaliation from certain circles in the United States. And while during that period the Rev. Moon suffered his share of pain, it did not deter him from continuing to promote his global mission.
Rev. Moon founded The Washington Times, which in my view has proven to be indispensable to the preservation of objective journalism in my nation’s capitol. Rev. Moon’s foresighted leadership has prevented Washington from becoming a one-newspaper town, dominated by a distinct philosophic bias.
In recent years America, as elsewhere, has been influenced by politically self-serving revisionism, which suggests that the collapse of Marxist Leninism in the Soviet model was the exclusive consequence of the United States military build-up during the Reagan administration. Here again, Rev. Moon was closer to the truth in recognizing that godless Marxism in the Soviet model was already in a state of disarray. I also spoke to that reality as early as the mid-1970s when I served as NATO Commander in Europe.
What we actually witnessed, as perhaps we are currently witnessing in North Korea and Cuba, is the consequence of the internal contradictions inherent in the Godless Marxist ideology. Furthermore, the collapse of the Soviet Union, as some insist, was not a triumph of democratic values. Rather it was a triumph of systems—free markets, private property and entrepreneurship.
We must remind ourselves that the struggle for values continues. Our complacent failure to understand that the struggle for excellence in values continues may well result in the very outcome we fought to prevent throughout the conduct of the Cold War. In chairing important interdisciplinary convocations, the Rev. Moon acknowledges that the struggle for values continues.
He has emerged as a great peacemaker and unifier on the world stage. He is a leading force of interreligious dialogue and understanding between peoples of all backgrounds and, above all, for global peace and stability.
In 1991, during the inaugural meeting of the International Federation for World Peace, I concluded my remarks as follows:
Are our grandchildren going to say to us that we were content to tend our own vineyard while our neighbors struggled? Or are we going to rise above the temptation of complacency so that the peace of the twenty-first century is truly a contrast to the conflict of the twentieth century? We must work together as nations so that it may be said of us: They prepared a world of the future that redeemed by its justness the suffering of the past.
These conferences are testimonies to the Rev. Moon’s effort to prepare a better world that redeems the suffering of the past.