Post-96: Veterans’ Bus in Seoul

Coming back from Osan on Sunday, we were dropped off at Seoul Express Bus Terminal, which is near Gangnam. From there, I got on the subway and headed home.

Outside the bus station, I saw this:


Bus seen at Seoul Express Bus Terminal, June 24th, 2013. “Welcome UN Korean War Veterans”

June 25th, the anniversary day of the start of the war, was only two days away.

The English on the banner is: “Welcome UN Korean War Veterans”
The Korean on the banner is: “환영 — 6-25전쟁 UN참전용사 방한”

(1) 환영: Welcome
(2) 6-25전쟁 (육이오전쟁): “Six-Two-Five War”. [This is the name most commonly used in South Korea for this war, because it began on June 25th. I’ve always thought that to be a strange way to name a war, after it’s starting date. I can’t think of an example of that from Western history. They also use the term “Korean War”, but less commonly. Every Korean knows what “6-25” means, but most 7th-12th grade students don’t know that it was June 25th of 1950!]
(3) UN참전: Participation in the War by the United Nations [UN]
(4) 용사: Brave Men; Heroes
(5) 방한: Visit (for Pleasure?) to Korea

It’s unclear who was supposed to be riding that bus pictured above, but on Tuesday (June 25th), I did see this:
I noticed that the caption writer wrongly wrote “North Korea began the war 60 years ago today”. Actually, it was 63 years ago today, on June 25th, 1950. This is June 25th, 2013. The very same newspaper reported, the day before, that 37% of adults and 53% of teenagers did not know which year the war began. The day after, a member of that 37% must’ve been at the editor’s desk!

Something interesting from the Korean language:

               참전: Participation in the(/a) War
               용사: Brave Men; Heroes

Combining those two words, i.e, “참전 용사” (cham-juhn-yong-sa) equals the word “veteran(s)”, I see from my (still-working) cell-phone dictionary. It’s not just a “participating in a war” thing, but a “bravery”/”heroic” component. This is not the case in English.

Etymology of the word “veteran” in English:1495–1505;  < Latin veterānus  mature, experienced.”

I wonder what the word in English for “participant in a former war” was before somebody grabbed the Latin word.