seoul national cemetery
Memorial Day (Hyeon-chung-il) is celebrated annually on the 6th day of June here in Korea. It is the day to honor those who had served the country. On this day people usually display the Korean flag outside their houses or go to the National Cemeteries (one in Seoul and the other one in Daejeon).
My husband’s great-uncle is honored at the National Cemetery. He died defending South Korea during the Korean War. We visited his grave last year, sometime in August. There are about 30,000+ graves. They are identified by stone markers with a number engraved on one side and the person’s name on the other side. Hills upon hills are covered with graves. Higher ranking officials have bigger, better markers. President Park Chung Hee is also buried in the nicer side of the park fit for a former beloved president.
When I was in high school, my classmates and I used to visit La Pieta (a memorial park in Angeles City) in the afternoon. The cemetery is a “peaceful” place to rest and unwind. The Seoul National Cemetery isn’t a place where you’d go with your friends for some peace, knowing that majority of the people honored in the area died during the forgotten war.
memorial to Korea’s heroes
as far as the eye could see
#12778 Park Shin Won (my husband’s great-uncle)
President Park Chung Hee’s memorial