City of Carrollton declares Aug. 14 ‘International Memorial Day for Comfort Women’

Community members march through from the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum to Thanks-Giving Square as part of the International Memorial Day for Comfort Women event on Sunday in downtown Dallas. (Jason Janik)

For years, Coppell resident Sinmin Pak has been organizing events to spread awareness of the hundreds of thousands of women and girls who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese military before and during World War II.

Victims of the sex trafficking network known as “comfort women,” were part of an operation spanning multiple countries in east and southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, including China, Korea and the Philippines. Multiple organizations have been pushing for a formal apology from the Japanese government.

Pak’s group reached a major milestone Sunday, when Carrollton Mayor Steve Babick presented a city proclamation recognizing Aug. 14 as Comfort Women Memorial Day. Carrollton, which is about 20 miles north of Dallas, has a large Korean American community.

“Whether it’s Korean or any of our Asian communities, the work is not really done until they feel at home in their own community,” Babick said. “This proclamation is shining a light on something that has been hidden from the world for some time, and to shine a light on atrocities like this whether they are in or outside of Carrollton, is important for all of us.”

Babick presented the proclamation to Pak and her organization, Unforgotten Butterflies, at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum on Sunday to commemorate International Memorial Day for Comfort Women.

Read more on Dallas Morning News
North Texas group shines light on ‘comfort women’ and raises awareness of sexual violence