Korea’s liberation from colonial rule in August 1945 became a turning
point in world history, one that would set into motion the eventual transformation of the entire Korean Peninsula.
15 will mark the 67th anniversary of Korea’s National Liberation Day, a
national holiday on which Koreans celebrate the decades-past
restoration of national sovereignty and honor the lives of those who
participated in the struggle for independence.
for the holiday got underway around the country, President Lee Myung-bak
received a congratulatory message from U.S. President Barack Obama on
In his statement, President Obama congratulated the
Korean people on the anniversary of Korea’s independence and highlighted
that Korea has become an ideal example of a vital democracy and, in
light of its unprecedented progress toward development and prosperity,
an international role model.
On the same day, celebrations for the holiday began in Seoul with a flag-raising ceremony at the newly constructed National Museum of Contemporary Korean History.
As the only national museum designed to showcase Korea’s modern
history, the building provided a unique backdrop for collective
reflection on the advent of independence in 1945 and the subsequent
establishment of the Republic of Korea in 1948.
The Taekgeukgi was raised at 2 p.m., accompanied by a performance of Aegukga, Korea's national anthem,
by an honor guard team and a military band with members from the Korean
National Police University and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
After the flag was unfurled, a moment of silence was held to honor
Korea’s fallen patriots.
Among the special guests present for the ceremony were Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik,
Chairman Kim Jin-hyun of the Committee for the Establishment of the
National Museum of Korean Contemporary History, and local elementary
for National Liberation Day included a flag-raising ceremony at
Gwanghwamun Square on August 14. Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik (left)
and other guests walk through a photo exhibit that depicts the years
between liberation and the establishment of the new republic (photo:
With only 100 days left until the museum’s
November 22 grand opening, a stone entrance sign bearing the museum’s
new name was also unveiled during the ceremony.
On the sidelines
of the event, an outdoor exhibit was prepared with items from the
museum archives that depict the three years from liberation to the
establishment of the new republic. Entitled "From 1945.8.15 to
1948.8.15," the exhibit includes election posters from Korea’s first
Constitutional Assembly elections on May 10, 1948, as well as photos of
the 38th parallel and celebrations after the official establishment of
the Republic of Korea. The exhibit will run on the museum’s front lawn
until August 31.
gather to watch a performance at the Independence Hall of Korea on
National Liberation Day (photo courtesy of the Independence Hall of
On August 15, at the Independence Hall of Korea
in Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do (South Chungcheong Province), the holiday
celebrations will continue with a special performance entitled
“Retracing the Great Path to Independence” at the Great Hall of the
Nation. An outdoor exhibit that documents the 25-year history of the
Independence Hall of Korea will also be set up nearby.
to the Independence Hall can watch a calligraphy performance, in which a
master calligrapher will write the first four verses of Korea’s
national anthem on a 200-meter long cloth, or try their hands at making
various crafts that incorporate national symbols such as Taegeukgi and the mugunghwa flower. All performances and activities will be offered free of charge.
By Kwon Jungyun
Korea.net Staff Writer