Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gwangju Special: May 18 Democratic Uprising

The National Cemetery for the May 18 Democratic Uprising

Nobody thought that the May 18 Uprising in Gwangju against the dictatorship of Chun Doo-hwan could leave an eternal scar in the hearts of Korean people. The incident could probably be the biggest human casualty in the modern history of Korea for the sake of democracy. A fight that Korea shared with the world. I think Gwangju is truly the birthplace of Korean democracy.

It was my first time to visit a National Cemetery in Korea. I suddenly felt the solemn atmosphere of the ground. As the rain kept on pouring the sound of the raindrops was sort of filtered because for some reason I felt peace and tranquility in my heart. Once you visit the place, the guide will take you to the memorial tower to pray for the souls of the victims.

May 18 Memorial Tower

The structure is huge. It serves as a gate to the “main” cemetery. According to the guide, the folded hands structure and the egg shape in the center combine to symbolize the resurrection of life and the reflection of the sunlight from the Tower represents the seed of hope.

After that we watched a documentary about the May 18 Uprising. I almost cried while watching it. I couldn’t believe that it happened also in Korea. What I mean by “also” is that because it also happened in the Philippines. For the sake of democracy many people died.

For more information about the May 18 Uprising here are some of the links

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