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When the dust finally settled from the Korean War in 1953, many families were left separated.

Some fled north with promises of returning home after the war; others did the opposite. Some left the country altogether. But the supposedly-temporary border that cut through the peninsula quickly became permanent after the conflict, and the incredible tension that still persists between the two nations has made it difficult for these people to ever see their loved ones face-to-face, or even have any contact at all.

What many people don’t know, however, is that the governments of North and South Korea occasionally arrange for some families to reunite.

These reunions have been held sporadically since 1988, hinging largely on whether or not diplomatic relations were good at the time. Tens of thousands sign up almost every time the reunions are offered, but only a few are ever chosen. Today’s event is the first one held since February 2014.

If you ever needed a reminder of how powerful family really is, check out the heartwarming moments in the gallery below: