December 8th, 2004

Space Cadet

Remembering the Pueblo

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 world.

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 felt.

Now days, when I see pictures like these, I remember the Pueblo, and I wonder what kids in Iraq think of me.