The Korean Memorial Day (현충일, 顯忠日, Hyeonchung-il) is a national non-working holiday held every June 6 to honor the soldiers and civilians who sacrificed their lives for Korea. It was declared a public holiday by the Korean Government on April 19, 1956.
On this day, memorial ceremonies are held to commemorate the men and women who died while in military service during the Korean War and other significant wars or battles. The largest ceremony is held at the National Cemetery in Seoul with the President and some government officials in attendance. Officials and citizens place flowers and offerings at the graves of those who died in battle. War veterans also 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 for one minute. The Korean flag (태국기, Taegukgi) is flown at half-staff and the Memorial Day Song (현충일 노래, Hyeonchung-il Norae) is also played. Some houses and business establishments display the Korean flag on their front doors. All of these are done to pay respect to the people who heed the call to stand up and fight for the freedom of their countrymen.
Filipinos in the Korean War
Writer’s Note: Since this article aims to honor the people who gave their lives to protect and defend their country, I would like to take this opportunity to also acknowledge the astonishing act of humanity and selflessness our fellow Filipino soldiers did during the Korean War.
Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument. This monument of two Filipino soldiers aiding a Korean soldier is dedicated to the Filipino combat soldiers who fought with the Korean troops during the Korean War.
The Philippines was the first Asian country to send combat troops to the Korean War. Comprised of five Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs), composed of 7,150 officers and men, President Elpidio Quirino sent the Philippine Expeditionary Forces To Korea (PEFTOK) to fight in the Korean War in September 1950.
The PEFTOK creed at the Museum of the PEFTOK Korean War Memorial Hall at Fort Bonifacio.
Overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War is referred to as the “Forgotten War.” Many young Filipinos today are unaware of the sacrifices our brave soldiers to help South Korea gain the freedom and democracy has today.
Most, if not all, of our history classes do not discuss this important event in our country’s past. I hope that their sacrifices will not be forgotten and that the next generation of Filipinos would continue to commemorate the heroism and gallantry of our Korean War veterans.
Credits: Wikipedia.com, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/225235/filipino-soldiers-story-of-korean-war-valor-redux, http://www.pilipino-express.com/history-a-culture/special-features-history-a-culture/1102-filipinos-in-the-korean-war.html
Written by Krew Member Miao Canlas