As the first official project proposed and carried out by the YCFL, the comfort women memorial is dedicated to the forgotten victims of all wars, especially the Comfort Women, in our sordid history of mankind. “Comfort Women” was a term originated during World War II as a euphemism for sex slaves trafficked by the Japanese Imperial Government. The YCFL’s main goal was not to assess blame but to honor the memory of these strong women who came out to the world with their stories despite their haunting past. Moving forward, the YCFL hopes that a memorial like this can evoke memories of the Comfort Women and their strength, along with the strength that all other victims of war have displayed. By remembering these types of atrocities, it can serve as a forward step towards fully affirming what the victims went through and their fortitude. It is the YCFL’s hope that this monument can serve as a beacon of hope for a better future avoiding these types of crimes against humanity on all fronts.
In December 2017, the Fort Lee Mayor and Council unanimously approved of the comfort women memorial as a result of combined efforts of all YCFL members and families for over 2 years. The YCFL would like to express sincere gratitude to Joseph Hong, who initiated the project by starting off the fundraising, bringing the project to light in the public, and leading the group in its infancy as the first president and founder of the YCFL. The YCFL would like to express its deepest gratitude to William Chung as well, who took the baton and completed the project, helping see it to the end as the second president.
The YCFL raised $40,000 from private donors, more than the goal of $30,000 needed for the construction and installation of the memorial, in less than 3 months through the concerted efforts of all YCFL members. Without a team effort, the project would have been halted in its tracks. The YCFL is very proud to have completed the project from inception to installation without resorting to any public funds.
The memorial was unveiled on May 23, 2018. Video coverage of the ceremony can be seen on the bottom of this page.
The YCFL would like to thank all members of the Fort Lee Mayor and Council and the various individuals and local businesses for their utmost support. Their support and guidance were crucial to the success of the project.
The poem, written by Gabriella Son, and the design, created by Euwan Kim, are featured in the memorial as it stands in Constitution Park.