Brookhaven, July 5, 2017 – Brookhaven City Council formally announced to relocate the Young Girl’s Statue for Peace to the main Blackburn Park at 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, its most prominent park in the City of Brookhaven.
The memorial honors the 200,000 girls and women, euphemistically known as the ‘Comfort Women,’ who were trafficked and sexually enslaved throughout Asia during World War II by the Japanese Imperial Army. On June 30, 2017, hundreds watched on as the statue was unveiled in Brookhaven at Blackburn Park II on Blair Circle, becoming the first city in the state of Georgia and the Southeast to publicly commit to the Comfort Women memorial.
“As the City Council has learned more about the Comfort Women tragedy, it is only fitting to place the ‘Young Girl’s Statue for Peace’ in one of the most prominent locations within Brookhaven,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. “With tens of thousands of people visiting the main Blackburn Park each year, more people will have an opportunity to learn about this era and become aware of the ongoing problems of sexual and human trafficking taking place in metro Atlanta and the world today.”
The memorial will be relocated within the month. Blackburn Park is one of 12 parks within the borders of the Brookhaven. In contrast, Blackburn Park II, which experienced increased visitors and traffic since the unveiling, is located in a three-acre park within a residential area with limited parking.
Ernst added, “The new venue will better accommodate those who wish to visit the statue. The primary Blackburn Park offers greater space, more parking and increased accessibility for what will surely become a landmark in our city.”
“We applaud the City of Brookhaven’s decision to help bring greater awareness to the Comfort Women tragedy through the more prominent placement of the Young Girl’s Statue for Peace,” said Mr. Baik Kyu Kim, the Chair of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force. “The City Council has been a leader in taking a very strong stand against human and sex trafficking. We are grateful for their proactive move to provide greater accessibility to the memorial.”
Other U.S. cities that have established Comfort Women memorials include Palisades Park, New Jersey; Nassau, New York (2 memorials); Bergen City, New Jersey; Glendale, California; Southfield, Michigan; Fairfax, Virginia; Union City, New Jersey; San Francisco, CA; with efforts currently underway in Chicago.