President Moon celebrated the 100th anniversary of March 1 Movement with the people. A large wall of a tall building in Gwanghwamun was hung with many different designs of the Korean national flag that represent the last 100 history of Korea.
The “hurrah” that echoed the Gwanghwamun and Jongno areas and the whole nation on the very day 100 years ago was re-performed by patriotic and enthusiastic people on the day. They marched with the national flag with Kim Gu’s signature on it from the Independence Gate and the Daehan Gate towards Gwanghwamun Plaza.
The guard of honor escorting President Moon and First Lay Kim accompanied by the 33 national leaders came onto the stage with a national flag. The 33 national leaders were consisted of offspring of patriots, forced laborers, the Korean War victims, the separated families, miners and nurses who worked in Germany, family members of those who died for democracy and those who related. The Declaration of Independence alongside the Constitution and letters were read by the people including offspring of Yun Bong-gil on rollable TV, braille and smart phone.
Moon conferred Order of Merit for National Foundation, Republic of Korea Medal, the most honorable medal of Korea, on Ryu Gwan-sun who led the March 1 Movement and died as a result of the torture by the Japanese at the age of 17.
“Japan will fall” she wrote while in prison: “Even if my fingernails are torn out, my nose and ears are ripped apart, and my legs and arms are crushed, this physical pain does not compare to the pain of losing my nation… My only remorse is not being able to do more than dedicating my life to my country.”
The medal was received by her nephew Ryu Jang-bu and the plaque of posthumous honors by Yoon Su-jin, the second grade student at Ewha Girl’s High School who won the Ryu Gwan Sun Awards; the school was called ‘Ewha Hakdang’ 100 years ago and it was where Ryu Gwan-sun attended; Moon hung the medal onto the plaque of posthumous honors.
“The first fruit of their patriotic and fighting spirit is the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. It is only regretful that we, the Koreans, have postponed for so long to clear away the remnants of Japanese colonialism” said Moon.
He continued “The next 100 years will be a different 100 years from the past: the people will have equal opportunities and they will enjoy the very basic quality of life at least.”
At noon sharp, all the participants nationwide shouted simultaneously “hurrah” including Halla Mountain to the farthest south, Dok Island to the farthest east and Yeonpyeong Island to the west; on the sound of “hurrah” 50 drones polled with the national flags drew ‘3’ and ‘1’ in the air while the Black Eagles Korean Air Force drew ‘100’.
The finale was the march of torchlights of independence held up by hands of 20 young patriots with the promise that we gathered together again on 11TH April, the day the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was established.
Moon invites offspring of independence activists
President Moon invited offspring of independence activists to the Blue House on 4th last month;65 offspring living in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Russia and China visited the Blue House.
“On behalf of the Korean people, I give my respect to you and I ask you to always remember the hearts of the Korean people” said Moon.
Jung Young-ja, daughter in law of Han Chul-su, said “My father in law was arrested, tortured and sentenced to death but saved at the last minute. I just feel honored to be invited here today.”
Kim Ye-seo (US), granddaughter of Jung Mun-yong, said “I’ve been emotional the moment I stepped my foot on the soil of my homeland. I toured Seodaemun Prison, the Independence Hall of Korea and history museums and learned the spirit of my grandfather’s and those who died for the country. I will never forget I walked alongside Mr. President at the 100th March 1 Movement ceremony.”
Catherine Betinson (UK), offspring of the English George Lewis Shaw, said “It is amazing that Korean people still commemorate those who contributed to and died for the country after 100 years. It truly is overwhelming to see how great a country Korea is.”
Susan Jane Black (UK), offspring of Ernest T. Bethel (publisher of the New Korea Daily and the Daily News), said “Bethel said to save the Korean people even if I die.” And she donated the articles of Bethel to the Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs.
Moon said “You all live here and there in the world rather than live together in one land. In other words, I just feel how hard it must have been for your ancestors to fight against the Japanese and their suffering, tortures and exile and I feel that there are still many things for the Korean government to do for them and their offspring and I, on behalf of the Korean people, will do more and the best.”
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