Young Girl's Peace Monument
Symbolic Meanings of the Statue
- Short, torn hair symbolizes the girl being coerced from her home by the Imperial Japanese Army.
- Clenched fists represent the girl's resolve for justice and formal redress of her human rights.
- Bare tiptoes represent her inability to return home and find peace.
- Bird on the girl's shoulder symbolizes a bond between the living and the deceased victims.
- Empty chair symbolizes those who are already passed away and the few surviving 'comfort women' still waiting for justice.
- The girl's shadow is that of a grandmother, symbolizing the passing of time spent in silence.
- Butterfly in the shadow represents the girl's wish for rebirth and her yearning for a full apology from the Japanese government.
This monument is in memory of more than 200,000 girls and women who were removed from their homes in Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, East Timor, and other places, to be trafficked and sexually enslaved by and for the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan before and during World War II. Violations of the rights of these so called 'comfort women' had occurred between 1932 and 1945 and it is known as one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century.
This monument is also recognition of passage of the House Resolution 121 by the US Congress on July 30th, 2007 and July 30th as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2013. We seek to promote a better understanding and a greater engagement throughout the international community of the vulnerabilities that lie behind every case of human trafficking and the exploitation suffered by every victim of this crime.
It is our sincere hope that these unconscionable violations of human rights shall never recur.
April 27th, 2017
Atlanta 'Comfort Women' Memorial Task Force & Supporting Friends
"We must record these things that were forced upon us."
- Hak-Soon Kim halmonni, first one of 'comfort women' who broke the silence