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Timeless Photo of Greek Mother Saying Goodbye to Son Destined for War

The photo of the emotional Greek mother giving one last farewell to her son who is leaving for the Korean War is a timeless reminder of the special relationship between mothers and their children.

Taken sometime in the summer of 1950, the photo depicts the deep anxiety of the Greek woman, who is captured perhaps whispering last-minute advice to her son on how to survive the war. The son, however, seems a bit embarrassed to be lectured by his mother in front of his comrades in arms.

It is also a poignant reminder of the war, which started on June 25 1950, when 100,000 North Korean troops crossed the 38th Parallel and which technically is still ongoing today. The three-year conflict which drew in 19 nations, including Greece, resulted in the death of an estimated 3 million people.

Greece, just out of its own brutal five-year civil war, participated in the Korean War by sending an expeditionary force there. Approximately 4,700 Greeks served under United Nations command and saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the entire conflict.

The Greek contribution comprised a reinforced Hellenic Army infantry battalion and a Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF) flight of seven transport planes. Greece was the fifth largest troop contributor to all the combined UN Forces in Korea.

Fifteen Greek officers and 168 men were killed in action, while 33 officers and 577 men were wounded during the conflict.

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