Unification News for June 1999

True Mother’s Visit To Minnesota

by Jim Gavin and Betsy Orman

True Mother, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, arrived in Minnesota at approximately 1:00 p.m., March 31st. She was accompanied by Rev. Peter Kim, Dr. Tyler Hendricks, Rev. Michael Jenkins, Mrs. Won Ju McDevitt and the other capable people that attend her from city to city on her tour of major American cities. Rev. Hun Suk Lee and members from the central mid-west region welcomed True Mother and the group to the state.

A Minnesota State patrol officer guided the group from the airport, along the Mississippi River through downtown St. Paul to the Minnesota Korean War Memorial, at the Minnesota State Capitol. When we arrived at the memorial True Mother was met by the President of the Minnesota Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 1, Mr. Ed Valle. This was the third year in a row that Mr. Valle had met True Mother.

The Memorial is very impressive. On the granite stones that form the pathway of the memorial are most of the important dates that commemorate the beginning of the war, the famous battles and the end of the conflict. True Mother studied it all as Mr. Valle explained how the memorial was built and what each element of the memorial represented. There is a lone soldier that stands about 10 feet high who is looking into the silhouette of a soldier formed in bronze. The sculpture represents the soldier looking for his lost comrades who will never return. There are pillars that circle this image with the names of the over 900 men who were killed or who are missing in action from Minnesota. Mother listened to Mr. Valle, asked questions and took in the beauty and the profound meaning of the monument. She was very thoughtful, very peaceful and very warm. It was a pleasure to be with her. Mother took pictures and she and the entire group were giver commemorative brochures from the dedication of the memorial, by Mr. Valle.

Led by the Minnesota State Patrol officer’s car the group headed for the Raddison-Metrodome Hotel next to the University of Minnesota. True Mother went to her room to prepare for the evening program and the rest of the group went about preparing in their own ways, as well.

Under the leadership of Rev. Hun Suk Lee and his wife Mrs. Ok Hee Lee, our region had prepared well for the event. On the University of Minnesota campus Mrs. Lee and Eri Pehling headed up the effort to reach out to students. Flore Mathison, Keiko Borer, Marika Hoegl, Yoshiko Miller, Aiko Stearns, Sachiko Johnson, Noriko Pearson, Makiko Schutte, Elizabeth Patterson, Yuriko Bohle, Toyoko Schimdt, Kieko Smith, Hiedi Vetterli, Esther Moyongo and Annemarie Pankow, among others, went out to meet students with flyers and enthusiasm; explaining to all who would listen, who Dr. Moon was and why they should come hear her speak. Eri and Keith Anderson also reached out to the leaders of student associations on campus.

Rev. Lee Mrs. Betsy Orman concentrated on meeting with the leaders of student groups, youth groups and Hmong groups (a Laotian ethnic group that is very big in Minnesota). Every day Rev. Lee went out and met individuals and groups and many of these individuals and groups came to hear True Mother speak. Jim Gavin worked primarily with veterans groups and with the Vietnamese community. Mary Jane Anderson, Rosemary Yokoi, Jeanette Henry, Jim Bard and Gudrun Gavin concentrated on Women’s Federation contacts, local governments and churches. Glen Willis focused on letters of welcome from politicians and Nadiah Chang supported Glen and everyone else working in the office and visiting key people.

The program began at 6:30pm, with awards and music and the room was filled with over 800 people by 6:40pm. Jim Gavin emceed the awards presentation, which began…

"The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification of Minnesota is honored to present Leadership Awards to people who have provided exemplary leadership that inspire the community to live and give on a higher level and who have significantly contributed to the lives of others. Tonight we are privileged to have a number of these people with us and we want to take a moment to recognize them now. During our main program, later tonight, we request that all those receiving awards assemble on the stage after Dr. Moon’s address for a special presentation."

Rev. Hun Suk Lee, the Regional Director of the Family Federation for World Peace presented over 20 awards to: Minnesota Korean War Veterans, chapter 1, the four past presidents and current president, Mr. Larry Goga, Mr. Tom Clawson, Mrs. Mary Trabing, who accepted the award for her recently deceased husband, Mr. Ed Trabing, and Mr. Ed Valle, a past and current president of the Minnesota Korean War Veterans, Chapter 1, Vy Pham the Founder and first president of the Vietnamese Association of Minnesota, Rev. Kenneth and Mrs. Olivia Garnier Pastor of the Minneapolis Church of Christ, Mr. Adam Nhotsavong, president of the Lao Lutheran Church, Yen Pham, the most recent past president of the Vietnamese community of Minnesota, Brother Charles and Sister Yvonne Muhammad—pioneers for the Nation of Islam in Minnesota, Mrs. Karen Morehead Forrest Lake school board member, Carlos F. Gallego the founder and executive director of the Hmong & Chicano/Latino Educational Enrichment Program in St Paul, Robert L Smith—co-founder of The Black Alliance, Eun Woo Lee, president of the Korean elders association, Pastor Joe Fox, of Wilwaukee Wisconsin, the Pastor of Heaven Bound, Church of God in Christ, Charlise E. Clark—president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Iyabo G. Lawal—vice-president of the African Student Association, T.J. Nguyen—president of the Vietamese Student Association of Minnesota, Marguerita Grace Carlin—vice president of the Korean Student Association, Chong Vang—president of the Hmong Minnesota Student Association, Kosal Nong-president of the Cambodian Student Association of Minnesota, Mee Ng—educational Chairperson Asian American Student Cultural Center and president, Chinese American Student Association and Chaokee Vang—Program Coordinator of the Hmong National Organization.

Following the awards presentation a Gospel ensemble performed and created a beautiful atmosphere for the main program.

At 7:00 Rev. Michael Jenkins began the main program. Michael had a subdued enthusiasm and warm manner emceeing the program. He made everyone feel comfortable as he began to set the stage for True Mother. Rev. Kenneth Ganier provided a spirited invocation that embraced True Parents and the audience. Dr. Tyler Hendricks energized and inspired the audience with his remarks about True Mother and the efforts she and True Father constantly pour out to the people of the world. True Mother was introduced by Mrs. Joan Kennedy; a member of the Women’s Federation for World Peace and a nationally renowned motivational speaker. Her introduction was warm and in parts touched with humor. The video presentation of True Mother’s life and partnership with True Father was well received. People were deeply moved and prepared to listen to the speech.

True Mothers delivery of the talk was wonderful. Her pronunciation was easily understood and her warmth and passion were felt by all. She looked very beautiful and she frequently looked up from her speech copy and looked into the eyes of the audience. Many times during her presentation she built up to an important point and punctuated the line with extra energy. The audience responded frequently with applause throughout the speech. At those moments True Mother would respond with a warm smile. The speech was very well received.

Immediately following the speech the Minnesota Korean War Veterans, chapter 1, four past presidents and current president came on the stage and presented True Mother with a bronze replica of the soldier featured in the Minnesota Korean war Memorial. Mr. Ed Valle stepped up to the podium and said:

"Three years ago members of our chapter came to hear you speak to the people of Minnesota. After your visit to our state, you and your husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, honored Minnesota Korean War veterans and Korean War veterans living and dead everywhere by making one of the largest contributions to the Korean War memorial fund in Minnesota. Your contribution, with the contributions that came from the larger Korean community was deeply appreciated.

We gave our blood, sweat and tears in defense of freedom in your country and many of our comrades never came home from that bloody war. We are proud to have fought for the freedom of the noble Korean people. The heart of gratitude and love that we feel from you and your husband, our Korean friends in Minnesota and Koreans everywhere moves us deeply.

We want to thank you and your husband for the stand you continue to take for freedom and democracy everyday, through The Washington Times daily newspaper and your worldwide activities. After all, that is what we fought and died for in Korea. We fought for families. We fought for mothers and fathers and children that they could live free under God. We join you today in that spirit and heart.

On behalf of all Minnesota Korean War veterans we present you and your husband with this bronze statue, a replica of the lone soldier who is looking for his lost comrades in the Korean War Memorial that stands at the Minnesota State capitol in St. Paul. Thank you and may God bless you and your family."

The audience all rose and gave a warm applause as Mr. Valle concluded his remarks. All of the Korean War Veterans and all of the award winners then stood with True mother and took a picture on stage. True Mother received flowers and some concluding remarks were made to end the program. As people left they turned in written responses to the speech. Young and old from all nationalities and races wrote very positively regarding True Mother and the message she presented in Minnesota.

The victory celebration following the program in another room was the icing on the cake. We were fortunate to hook up with True Father in South America via the Internet. The Party went on for at least two hours. Many members in South America sang songs to True Father and True Mother and many members in Minnesota reciprocated. The second generation was represented by songs from

Ke Sung and Sue Anderson, the six Gavin boys, Jaga, Jago Jatin, Jatoma, Jario and Jaka and all of the children from our region sang together Zippadee Do Da led by Rev. Peter Kim and True Mother. A large contingent of Korean War Veterans sang America the Beautiful. Their voices were a little unpracticed but there hearts really touched everyone. True Parents concluded the evening with songs to each other and all of us. The love True Parents shared with each other and with all of us across the thousands of miles between South and North America was tangible. Everyone felt deeply grateful to True Parents for coming to Minnesota and for bringing their message of hope and true love to the people of the world.

The following morning we joined true Mother for Hoon Dok Yae. Rev. Peter Kim read in Korean and Dr. Tyler Hendricks read in English. True Mother spoke to us about the importance of learning Korean and establishing strong spiritual traditions within our families. She spoke of the work Heung Jin Nim and Dae Mo Nim are doing to open the way for those in the spirit world to work with us on earth. She told us how important it was for us to read True Father’s words and bring them to life in our communities.

During breakfast Rev. Lee brought out 100’s of written responses to the speech from the audience and Rev. Michael Jenkins read many of them to True Mother. It was very moving to hear how so many people were deeply moved by the talk. It was also gratifying to see that a majority of the audience had taken the time to put their thoughts into writing.

Mr. Bruce Smith reported to True Mother that he had received a government grant to teach "Free Teens", an abstinence based curriculum in Wisconsin schools. He showed her a presentation book he uses in the schools and spoke of the good response he is receiving from the students and teachers. True Mother told us that it was wonderful to be able to take True Parents message to the public in such a way.

True Mother quickly left the hotel following breakfast. She was ahead of schedule. In fact the Minnesota State Trooper had to catch up to the entourage on the highway to lead us to the airport. Later he told us he drove at speeds of up to 120 miles an hour to intercept the group and make sure True Mother got to the airport. True Mother took time to take pictures with the small group from the North Central Region and then she and those with her flew on to the next city. Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin, our entire region, our nation and our world, was richly blessed with True Parents love, concern and compassion. The memory of this tour will continually enrich us and will always be cherished.

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