Intruduction of General B. B. Bell
Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia
The Heritage Foundation
December 5, 2014
History records that the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But
it has not ended on the Korean Peninsula.
In Europe, the Iron Curtain marked the stark separation between the forces of
darkness on one side from the free world on the other.
The same is still true in Korea. We are all familiar with the nighttime satellite
photos of the peninsula which show the vivid difference between the dark, brutal
oppression and poverty of North Korea from the brightness of the economic
miracle of the Republic of Korea.
Those photos reveal North Korea as a black hole – a country in which the lights of
freedom...the lights of democracy...of human rights...and, for too many, even the
light of hope have been extinguished.
The demilitarized zone is a vivid gash across the Korean Peninsula that divides the
Korean people...indeed divides the Korean soul.
This defense of light from darkness has not been maintained by itself. It has
required decades of selfless devotion by the brave men and women of the armed
forces of the Republic of Korea and the United States.
They have provided the shield behind which the south was able to recover from the
devastation of war and not only rebuild...but to triumph.
These resolute men and women have valiantly stood on the ramparts of freedom to
protect the flame of liberty in the South -- which also serves as a beacon to the
oppressed Korean brethren in the North.
As George Orwell wrote, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only
because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Tonight, we are
gathered to honor one of those men.
During a long and distinguished career in the United States Army, General B.B.
Bell has stood on the ramparts of freedom in Europe...in Kuwait...and on the
During his 39 year service, he had a long, long list of assignments.
- He commanded the Army's Armor Center at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.
- During the Iraq Desert Storm Campaign, he served as General
Schwarzkopf's Executive Officer.
- He led the Army's Third Corps, headquartered at Ft. Hood, Texas.
- He commanded the U.S. Army in Europe, as well as NATO's Land
Component Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.
- For those of us here tonight, he is best remembered as serving as the
Commander of US Forces in Korea, as well as commander of CFC and
In public speeches, General Bell has described his love for the Korean people...and
I venture to say one in particular – his Korean granddaughter Jin-Hui Bell. He
described her as his Korean Princess who was – and I quote -- "without a doubt the
smartest, cutest and most well-behaved seven year old child on planet Earth."
He described his dream of taking her to Korea, not only to absorb the country and
culture of her birth, but someday to walk with her hand-in-hand freely across what
is today the Demilitarized Zone and the Military Demarcation Line to celebrate the
peaceful reunification of Korea and its people.
I fervently hope that he and Jin Hui – and all the Korean people north and south –
get to fulfill that dream. To walk freely across a Korea no longer divided by
trenches...by barbed wire....and by barriers of distrust.
But instead a Korea united by common bonds of culture and democracy and
freedom. To get there -- Katchi Kapshida
– we go together with the help of men
like General Bell.
This page last updated December 13, 2014 jdb