- Yoon and Kim invite 158 of independent merits and bereaved to a luncheon
Yoon and Kim attends 78th Liberation Day ceremony
Yoon and Kim attended 78th Liberation Day ceremony held at an auditorium of Iwha Woman’s University on August 15, attended by 2,000 patriots and families, high government officials, representative of various organizations, and citizens. Under the theme of 'Great People, Journey to Freedom', the ceremony was held to remember the pioneers who longed for freedom and created a free country, and to move toward greater freedom with the great people who have made remarkable progress in political, economic, social, and cultural fields since the liberation of Korea. In his welcoming speech, Yoon said "Our independence movement was a founding movement to create a liberal democratic state where the people are the masters. This spirit continues to guide our vision of a global pivotal nation that fulfills its responsibilities and contributions to the international community. We will work in solidarity with the international community to make Korea an active contributor to freedom, peace, and prosperity for all people." Actor Yoo Dong-geun read the poem "Glory is the only thing," by the late independence activist Lee Hee-seung, followed by a screening of a thematic video reflecting on the meaning of the Korean flag and freedom, a celebration performance and chorus expressing the journey of freedom against the backdrop of an independence army song, recognition of independence heroes, and the singing of the Liberation Day song. The last surviving Patriot Governor living in Japan, Oh Sung-kyu, who returned to Korea permanently on August 13, was in attendance, adding to the significance of the event. Oh formed a clandestine network in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation to carry out anti-Japanese activism, served in the Liberation Army, and was awarded the National Defense Patriotism Medal in 1990. In his congratulatory speech, Yoon said "Properly remembering those who gave their all for the freedom, independence, and universal values of their country is the essence of national identity and national continuity." The President and First Lady arrived at the ceremony site in advance and personally greeted Oh and Kim Young-kwan and entered the ceremony together, showing the utmost respect to the patriots who dedicated themselves to the independence movement.
* Currently, there are nine surviving patriots, and with Oh's return to Korea, the number of people living in the country has increased from seven to eight, with only Lee Hae-joon (who was awarded the National Defense Medal in 1990) living in the United States.
A total of 100 independence heroes were awarded government awards, and the President personally presented government awards to five descendants of independence heroes, including Mr. Kim Yong-soo, a descendant of the late Kim Hyun-soo, who dedicated his life to restoring sovereignty in Nanjing, China.
* The late Kim Hyun-soo (Founding Father), the late Kim Young-jo (Founding Father), the late Franklin Cranston Williams (Founding Father), the late Kim Geun-tae, the late Chun Sung-wook (Presidential Award)
The ceremony's concluding three times of hurrah was led by Captain Gil Han-bit, an Air Force pilot who participated in Operation Promise, which safely returned citizens stranded in Sudan to South Korea; Dr. Jeong Jae-hwan, head of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, who was instrumental in the successful launch of Nuri; and actor Yoo Dong-geun. Participants pledged Korea's commitment to safeguarding its people's freedom under all circumstances, and recalled the launch of the Nuri and the country's status as a scientific and cultural powerhouse that shines through K-Culture. Ewha Womans University, the host of the event, is the successor to Ewha School, which produced many female independence fighters, and the first university in Korea to be licensed as a comprehensive university after the liberation of the country (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Tourism, No. 1 in 1946).
Yoon and Kim invite 158 of independent merits and bereaved to a luncheon
Yoon and Kim hosted 158 independence veterans and their families for a luncheon at the Cheong Wa Dae State Guesthouse on Wednesday, August 9. The luncheon was a way to show respect and honor to independence veterans and their descendants, and to put into practice the President's usual idea that ‘the nation is responsible for the sacrifices made for the nation.’ They were greeted with the highest courtesy by the Armed Forces Honor Guard and military band, and the President and his wife were honored by having a surviving patriot, Governor Kim Young-kwan, among today's luncheon attendees, enter the luncheon venue with them. Prior to the luncheon, First Lady Kim wished Governor Kim Young-kwan good health and presented him with Mugunghwa embroidered Hansan Moshi cloth. The Hansan Moshi cloth was made by Bang Yeon-ok, an artisan who holds the skill of 'Hansan Moshi weaving', a national intangible cultural property. On June 9, the First Lady also attended the 'Hansan Moshi Culture Festival' held in Seocheon, Chungcheongnam-do to promote the excellence of 'Hansan Moshi', a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. She separately delivered luxury moshi quilts to the six domestic-based Patriot Governors (Oh Hee-ok, Kang Tae-sun, Lee Il-nam, Kwon Jung-hyuk, Ji Ik-pyo, and Lee Seok-gyu) who were unable to attend the luncheon due to health reasons. The luncheon featured a menu related to the independence movement: Seafood cold cuts made with seafood from Kim Gu and Ahn Jung-geun's hometown of Hwanghae Island, Potato pie, a staple food of independence activists, and assorted pie; a favorite of female independence activist Ji Bok-young, Beef Tteokbokki and Abalone at Kwon Ki-il's house, dedicated to the independence movement, Seolungtang melted with joys and sorrows of the activists, Ahn Hee-je's mangae tteok, which he distributed to his comrades, and watermelon hwachae, a specialty of his hometown of Uiryeong. During the luncheon, there were performances of the Taegukgi and Beautiful World Songs by the Historical Children's Choir, which is active under its motto Korea Love, History Love, and Song Love. The luncheon was attended by 148 members and 10 special invitees, including Heritage of Korean Independence President Lee Jong-chan and officers, city and provincial chapters, chapter presidents, and delegates. Special invitees include ∼Kim Hwang-shik, chairman of the Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Association, who is leading the way in promoting the meritorious service of the descendants of independence heroes; ∼Lee Taek-sun, research professor at the Myeongji Institute of International Korean Studies; ∼Singer Sean (real name Noh Seung-hwan), who organized the "2023 It Will Be Fine Korea 815 Run" to support the descendants of independence heroes; ∼Yoon Hyung-joo, sixth cousin of poet Yoon Dong-joo and chairman of Habitat for Humanity Korea, who is promoting housing improvement projects for the descendants of independence heroes, Dr. Song Sang-hyun, a professor emeritus at Seoul National University (grandson of Dr. Song Jin-woo), who is a descendant of an independent meritorious person who contributes to public service activities; Dr. Kim Mi, chairperson of the Kim Gu Foundation (granddaughter of Dr. Kim Gu); Dr. Yoon Ju-kyung, a member of parliament (granddaughter of Dr. Yoon Bong-gil); Dr. Kim Eul-dong, advisor to the General Kim Jong-jin Memorial Project (granddaughter of General Kim Jong-jin); and Ms. Jang Ye-jin (great-granddaughter of Dr. Jang Jin-hong), who accompanied the president and sang the Hooray at the March 1 ceremony. In his welcome speech at the luncheon, the President expressed his respect and gratitude to the ancestors and Kim Young-gwan who devoted themselves to the freedom and independence of the country. On behalf of the attendees, Kim thanked them, and singers Sean and Yang In-jip (grandson of Yang Woo-jo) responded by giving their impressions.
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