Chahee Stanfield

Mrs. Chahee Lee Stanfield was born in Manchuria, China, in 1940 and grew up in Taegu, Korea. She came to the United States in 1968, and received a Master’s degree in Library Science from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She worked as the Branch Manager at Bezazian Library and Albany Park Library of the Chicago Public Library system for 24 years and retired in 2007. For over thirty years she has lived the American dream, leaving a home ravaged by wars to forge her own destiny.

In one moment, over fifty years ago, she was separated from her father and her brother. It was the eve of the Pacific War and her family decided to go back home to Taegu, Korea after living in Manchuria. She left with her mother on a train to Taegu and her father and brother were supposed to meet them one week later but in that week, political lines were drawn and her family was divided. She didn’t know that her departure from that train station would be the last that she would ever see them and without having the chance to ever say goodbye, over half a century would pass.

Currently she is a director of the Library Facilities of the Korean War National Museum project. She started the divided family project with Congressman Mark Kirk in 2001, which later became the Saemsori project in 2006, for which she is the spokesperson.