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Posts tagged May 18 5.18

Gwangju Uprising

May 18th National Cemetery south korea gwangju

May 18th National Cemetery (Gwangju, South Korea)

Forty-one years ago tomorrow, a student uprising began at the university I taught at back in 2013. In Korean, the event is known as 5·18 (오일팔) or the Gwangju Democratization Struggle (광주 민주화 항쟁). 1,394 people were arrested for involvement in the Gwangju uprising, and 427 were indicted. Seven of those received death sentences and 12 received life sentences. 137 victims were carried in handcarts and garbage trucks to be buried at the Old Mangweol-dong Cemetery which has become the “new” Mangweol-dong Cemetery and is the location where today’s photo was taken.

In Remembrance of May 18, 1980

korea gwangju 5-18 memorial cemetary gwangju massacre graves korean rok

May 18th National Cemetery

5.18 Memorial Park Temple

may 18 memorial park gwangju temple

Temple in May 18 Memorial Park in Gwangju

This temple is at the top of a long flight of stairs. The trees surrounding the temple have grown so much since it was built that you can’t see past any of them anymore so the temple looks almost abandoned at this point. I bet the view from here was spectacular a little over a decade ago.

5.18 Memorial Park statue

may 18 memorial park gwangju boy statue

Boy reaching for the sky statue
May 18 Memorial Park (Gwangju, South Korea)

May 18th National Cemetery (국립 5.18 민주묘지)

korea gwangju 5-18 memorial cemetary 5·18민중항쟁추모탑

May 18th National Cemetery

Last week I got on Bus 518, near the front gate of Chonnam National University (where the May 18, 1980 events began in Gwangju), and rode to the final resting place of many of the individuals who took part in the Gwangju Democratization Movement. This tower, to the left of center, is known as the May 18 People’s Uprising Memorial Tower (5·18민중항쟁추모탑).