I was a kid of about thirteen in 1968, when the crew of the USS Pueblo was taken prisoner
by the North Koreans. Crew members were interrogated, beaten and
tortured for eleven months. They did their best to resist, and they did
an amazing job. At one point, Time Magazine ran a photograph with many of the the crew members giving the finger as a show of defiance.
Finally they were released. There was a big ruckus about how the US
government handled the situation. I was aware of that, but not as much
as I was aware of what the crew had done. They were amazing heroes in
my eyes. They had stood defiantly against the worst possible evil and
survived. They were Great Americans and I was proud to live in a
country that had such brave spirits.
I also hated the North Koreans with a fierce hatred. What they had done
to the crew of the Pueblo was unforgivable. The Koreans seemed to me,
as a people, to be the vilest, most evil people in the whole wide
Fortunately for me, as I grew up I grew out of that hatred. I learned
that just because a country's government is evil, doesn't mean its
people are all evil. But I still remember how angry I was, and how it
Now days, when I see pictures like these, I remember the Pueblo, and I wonder what kids in Iraq think of me.