Korean Holiday: Memorial Day (59th)

June 6 is celebrated in Korea as Memorial Day. On this day, we remember those who sacrificed their lives in order for South Korea to protect its freedom.

Every year, we visit the National Cemetery in Dongjak to visit the grave of my husband’s grand uncle. His name was Park Shin Won and he died during the Korean War. As the cemetery is usually crowded on Memorial Day itself, we usually go there a few days before or after the holiday.

Park Chung Hee's memorial ~ photo taken in August 2005
Park Chung Hee’s memorial ~ photo taken in August 2005

This year, June 6th falls on a Friday and the nation is having a 3-day weekend. We are off to Pyeongchang, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics, to have some fresh air πŸ˜€ It is most likely that we are going to visit the National Cemetery next week.

Fallen soldiers are not the only ones buried in the National Cemetery. Presidents Park Chung Hee, Kim Dae Jung and other government officials and even ordinary people recognized by the country as heroes are also honored at the National Cemetery.

The first time I visited the National Cemetery, I was amazed at how clean the surroundings were. The markers were tidy and flowers were place beside each grave marker. That was nine years ago ~

To commemorate this day, let us all think about the people who sacrificed for the country ~ South Koreans and foreigners alike. Let us remember the Filipinos and other foreigners who gave all for the people they never knew.

The program for Memorial Day will start at 9:55 AM on June 6th and it will be telecast live. At ten o’clock in the morning, sirens will be activated for one minute. Please don’t panic πŸ˜€

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