A commemoration ceremony for the 5.18 Gwangju Democratization Movement, which is celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year, was also held in Tokyo, Japan. I, who was in charge of video equipment as an event organizer, asked my son in middle school to borrow his laptop. But my son asks if he can go to the ceremony too. You have to come by yourself because you have to go in advance and prepare for this and that.

Since he only knows basic conversational Korean, I was worried that he would be able to survive a two-hour event in Korean. But I didn’t even say let’s go together, but I felt somehow proud to see him voluntarily participate first.

Naturally, I remembered the first time we held the 5.18 Memorial Ceremony. Since 2008, when the Lee Myung-bak government took office, Koreans residing in Tokyo have ‘voluntarily’ held a commemorative ceremony for the 5.18 Gwangju Democratization Movement every year. Sixteen people gathered at a Korean restaurant in Ueno without a placard, and I didn’t know that what started as a ‘secret society’ would last this long.

About 70 people also participated in this commemorative ceremony, which was held offline for the first time in three years. There were also participants from as far away as New Zealand and Germany. It is said that they had originally visited Tokyo for other work, but after hearing news of the event, they came running within a month.

So is my son, so are these people. ‘Voluntary participation’ is the true spirit of Gwangju. In his greeting, Yong-deok Kim, chairman of the Tokyo Memorial Association, cited the words of former President Dae-jung Kim as an example and said, “You must act with a conscience, and a conscience that does not act is on the side of evil. Democracy is not a gift, it is a struggle. can’t,” he said.

“The president’s memorial address and the spirit of Gwangju seemed completely ignorant.” 

Lee Young-chae, a professor at Keisen Women’s University who gave a special lecture, said something similar, citing May 27, 1980 as an example.

“On May 27, the last day, countless citizens gathered at the South Jeolla Provincial Office. Everyone knew that the paratroopers would come after midnight, and if they did, there would be an indiscriminate massacre. No one said anything about going back. After midnight, gunshots were heard. The militia were no match, and the gunfire stopped in 30 minutes.

Someone who went home with a 3-month-old child wrote in his diary that it was the most nightmare 30 minutes in the world. Half of the militia who remained in the provincial government died and half survived. When I asked the survivors why they stayed, the overwhelming majority of them said that they stayed. Those who remained were really ordinary citizens. It has posed fundamental questions to generations as if they were destined.”

“If it were me, what choice would I have made? Would I have stayed at the Provincial Office or would I have left with a reason? But where would there be a person without a reason? Everyone must have had a reason to go back. But there are people who remain, and half of them have been sacrificed. Those who survived, and those of us who later learned what had happened in Gwangju, constantly questioned ourselves, and that question led to the June 1987 Uprising.

The words of martyr Yoon Sang-won, “Although we lose today, history will bring us victory tomorrow,” were proven by the June Uprising and have become the spirit of the Asian democratization movement now, 40 years later. Gwangju’s representative ‘March for Beloved’ has become a song that must come out at the scene of struggle in each country, and Joshua Wong, who led the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution, said, ‘Even though the culture and background are different, the 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement and the March for Beloved give us strength and hope. I will give you,’ he said.”

In particular, Professor Lee Young-chae emphasized that the core of the 5.18 Gwangju Democratization Movement was the existence of women.

“The spirit of Gwangju is sacrifice, solidarity, coexistence and coexistence. It is not to live alone, but to live together. This consciousness has been living in Korea’s civic consciousness since the Gwangju Democratization Movement. Nurses took responsibility to the end. Citizens kept order. This sense of community is in line with that of Gwangju. In Gwangju in 1980, there were countless victims whose identities could not be identified. Women led their funerals, and high school girls held their funerals

. Actively donated blood. Same goes for ‘rice balls’ that always come up when talking about Gwangju. Who made rice balls? So far, democratization-related movements have often been described from a male point of view. The Gwangju Democratic Uprising was the first It is a democratization movement. When you look at pictures or pictures of Gwangju, women always appear. It means that women were actively and proactively at the center of the struggle.”

In addition, Professor Lee Young-chae said that President Yoon Seok-yeol’s visit to the May 18th National Cemetery for two consecutive years was positive, but the content of the speech was “the worst of all the presidential memorials ever, to the extent that I wonder if it was put in Chat GPT and circulated.” Explained.

“It is good to visit the National Cemetery for the second year in a row accompanied by members of the ruling party. However, when I saw the memorial address, I got the impression that I did not know the spirit of Gwangju at all. The very words of attracting an industrial complex were the words of someone who had no knowledge of the spirit of Gwangju. There is a lack of awareness that the spiritual flow that began in Gwangju is still being passed on to the people of Asian countries even after 43 years.”

At the same time, he said, “If President Yoon truly thinks of the spirit of the Gwangju Democratization Movement, the part of the ‘warrior’ written on the tombstone of the riot squad buried at the National Cemetery at the National Cemetery should be corrected first.” It makes sense that we were enemies,” he said, emphasizing the need to resolve these contradictions.

“In addition, the truth of the helicopter gunfire at the Jeonil Building, the authority to issue the first shot, the announcement of the government’s position on the theory of North Korean armed communist intervention that is still being spread by far-right forces through YouTube, and whether or not the United States is involved must be clearly clarified. .It is out of the essence to pay attention only to the fact that I participated in two consecutive years.”

Professor Lee Young-chae’s lecture, which lasted for about an hour and 40 minutes, ended by citing the drama <Signal> as an example.

“I would like to quote the drama <Signal>. Let’s say someone called us 20 years ago. Has the world changed a bit? It’s been a year, but it’s changed a little, right?” Likewise, a citizen militia who remained at the provincial government office 43 years ago calls and asks, “Have you found peace on the Korean Peninsula? Has historical issues and working conditions been all resolved? It’s been 43 years, but of course things have improved.” “Is that right? What kind of answer can we give?

If we had received this phone call during the days of President Kim Dae-jung, we would have been able to say yes, it has changed. We can say that at least a little has changed during the times of Roh Moo-hyun and Moon Jae-in. But now If I answered the phone메이저사이트, would I be able to speak confidently?

After all, we who live in the ‘now’ can change the past and the future at the same time. I believe that if the Yoon Seok-yeol regime goes on like this, the victims of Gwangju and the militia will eventually be called ‘rioters’ again someday. Since such a world should not come, we must gather like this now to inherit and spread the spirit of Gwangju. emphasize once again. Only us in the present can change the past and the future at the same time.” On the way back home after digesting the event schedule of more than 3 hours, including a light after party, I asked my son his impressions. No, before asking, I asked myself

“I hardly understood what you were talking about, but I want to keep coming to events like this,” he said. Returning home and peeking at his son’s tablet as he went to bed right away, it read: ‘May 18th. I don’t know what it is, but it’s a Korean

event . Attending. It was difficult because I did not know Korean well, but thanks to the photos and NHK footage, I was able to understand a little. Soldiers with guns killed people. Coffins were lined up, and the streets were full of bloody people falling down. I went there a while ago I can’t believe this happened in Korea. To make sure this doesn’t happen again… I don’t know what I should do, but anyway, I plan to go to events my dad participates in. Other uncles and aunties gave me pocket money, but absolutely no pocket money. It’s not because of that.’

It was the moment when I made a firm resolution to hold the ceremony the same way next year.

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