From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."


현충일: Memorial Day in South Korea

Today is 현충일 (Memorial Day) in South Korea. June 6th is a public holiday dedicated to soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country and civilians who died during the Korean war.

The Korean War began on June 25th, 1950 when South Korea was invaded by North Korea. The war that lasted for three years and claimed the lives of many eventually led to the political division of Korea.

현충일 was declared a public holiday on April 19, 1956.

ugcOn this day, the South Korean flag is lowered to half-mast. Some houses and business establishments display the Korean flag on their front doors. A memorial ceremony is held in Seoul National Cemetery. Officials and citizens place flowers at the graves of those who died in battle. War veterans salute in front of the gravestone of their fellow soldiers. At 10 in the morning, a siren rings all over the country, and people offer silent prayers.

Yesterday, my husband and I saw some men decorating the streets of Hyewadong with colorful umbrellas. A note with a message of peace is attached to each umbrella. It is a peace campaign to honor and commemorate those who passed away during the Korean war and other compelling battles for what we all hope to achieve in this world, PEACE.