On the day of Korea’s Harvest Festival (Chuseok), my husband and I accompanied his parents to the Seoul National Cemetery. My father-in-law (FIL) wanted to pay his respects to his uncle, a soldier who died during the Korean War. It was only the second time that I went to the Cemetery. The first one was in August 2005 during my mother’s second visit to Korea.
Seoul National Cemetery is located in Dongjak-dong, near Dongjak-gyo (Dongjak Bridge). It is accessible by subway lines 4 and 9. The graves of the First President of the Republic of Korea, Rhee Syngman, can be found here. Other Presidents are also buried here: Park Chung Hee and Kim Dae Jung.
On my first visit, we went to President Park Chung Hee’s memorial. This time, we tried to go to President Kim Dae Jung’s tomb, but it wasn’t opened to the public yet. There was a tent set-up near the tomb where visitors can bow and write on the memorial book.
Seoul National Cemetery is so huge that I was thankful we were able to bring the car. The place is divided into sections to make it easier to find the tomb of a loved one among the multitude of tombstones inside the memorial park.
I don’t exactly know how many are buried or are remembered at the National Cemetery. All I know is that when I was at my husband’s granduncle’s tomb, on my left, right and back are all reminders of those who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation.
^^ to my right with a view of Seoul N Tower
The Cemetery is well maintained and on a holiday like Chuseok, flowers are placed at the side of every tombstone.
P.S. When I was in high school, I and my classmates would visit La Pieta Cemetery in Angeles City. There we would scare each other with ghost stories.