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Honoring the victims of April 3Prime Minister Kim Hwang Sik commends Jeju's spirit and hopes to create an island of peace
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승인 2011.04.10  18:06:13
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▲ From left, 4.3 Bereaved Families Committee President Hong Sung Su, Jeju April 3 Peace Foundation Director Jang Jung Eon, Jeju Governor Woo Keun Min and Jeju Provincial Assembly Chairman Moon Dae Lim. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province

The April 3 memorial ceremony, held 63 years from the day attributed to the beginning of the Jeju massacre, was made ever the more solemn as the rain drizzled down upon the 10,000 attendees.

The event, held at the Jeju April 3rd Peace Park, started at 10 a.m. with mourners paying their respects by laying white flowers on graves and visiting the large memorial where the names of the massacred are etched into the walls.

Though President Lee Myung Bak did not attend, his representative Prime Minister Kim Hwang Sik attended along with Jeju April 3 Peace Foundation Director Jang Jung Eon, Jeju Governor Woo Keun Min and heads of some political parties.

“We sincerely hope that the souls of our ancestors will rest in peace,” said Jang during his opening speech. He then spoke of the importance of the Jeju April 3rd Peace Park in being a place for history education and said that due to excavation projects 71 bodies have been recently recovered, identified, and returned to their families.

Governor Woo said, “I pay my condolences to the 4.3 victims from the bottom of my heart and sincerely hope that they will rest in peace. ... 4.3 is the first and the only place where a whole region was totally trampled in modern Korean history. However, there is a long way to go to solve 4.3. Hence, I apologize to the people.”

During Prime Minister Kim’s speech he spoke of Jeju’s enduring spirit and addressed the island’s people saying, “You are opening Jeju’s affluent future by sublimating conflicts and pains into peace and reconciliation,” and that he will do his best to help Jeju prosper as an island of peace.

Once the speeches concluded the mourners walked to the raised platform in front of the memorial and burned incense in gold basins to attract the spirits of the dead, so all those present could bow, pray and honor those who lost their lives so many years ago.

(Translation by Koh Yu Kyung)

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