LETTER: Shooter didn't represent Korea


LETTER: Shooter didn't represent Korea


By: Don Lucas
Posted: 4/30/07

Two weeks ago, I was shocked once again when a maniac took so many innocent lives at Virginia Tech. I focused on the many news events that followed this tragedy in my home state.

I reflected on the campus, wrapped in such scenic beauty, where my many of my friends attended and later taught. Virginia Tech is a university in which many of my former students attended. It is also a university where my former students and I visited while teaching and performing music.

As I continued to watch the television coverage throughout the week, I had many reflections and feelings, including shock, outrage and compassion.
Late last week, officials posted a letter written by the sister of the murderer. Her words touched me very much. I felt her pain and hurt for those who suffered at the hands of her brother. I perceived her words to be most sincere and heartfelt. In a week of such tragedy, this is the moment that produced my tears. I couldn't help but think she didn't have to write that letter. But she did.

In the last ten years, I have had the opportunity to teach and perform music in South Korea on four occasions, most recently at Yonsei University in Seoul. During my first trip, I remember an older man looking me straight in the eyes and thanking me for the United States' intervention in his country years ago.

I am very proud of the United States' involvement in the Korean War. South Korea is a beautiful country, a beautiful culture and a beautiful people. The Daily Free Press's article ("After VT, Koreans prepare for backlash," April 25, p. 1) quite, and cited the Korean values of community support. I would like to add the values of courtesy and a great work ethic. At the end of the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Today, South Korea has the eighth-highest gross national product wordwide.

I read in a recent book by Lee Iacocca that of all international students recently rated in math and science, Korean students scored the highest.

The Virginia Tech killer did not reflect Korean values. But his sister did.

I also have been reflecting on many of the Korean students at Boston University whom I interact with on our campus. These students continually demonstrate an excellence with dignity and class.

I was so pleased to see written in the article that there have been no backlash incidents reported among the BU community. I am proud of our BU community in this regard.

It is understandable to regret when a tragedy has happened by persons from one's own culture. I have felt this many times as a U.S. citizen. I have also felt pride in the United States. But I hope the readers of the Free Press will join me in answering Clara Pyo and all the students of the Korean Student Association.

Yes, Pyo should celebrate, because her heritage, the heritage of South Korea, is still a proud heritage.

Don Lucas
Associate Professor of Music and Chairman, Brass, Woodwind, Percussion

College of Fine Arts


Don Lucas


The Daily Free Press




Sara Hood


Matt Negrin <editor@dailyfreepress.com>




Don Lucas, “LETTER: Shooter didn&#39;t represent Korea,” The April 16 Archive, accessed July 13, 2020, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1026.