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Commemoration Ceremony for the Heroes after Three Years

Posted June. 07, 2005 06:44,   


A commemoration ceremony for the six heroes killed in combat with a North Korean patrol ship that infringed on the Northern Limit Line on June 29, 2002 will be held at sea on June 24 in the waters near the scene of engagement off Yeonpyong Island in the West Sea.

This will be the first time such a ceremony to be held on sea since the West Sea Battle. Apart from the ceremony, the Navy will pay tribute by holding a separate ceremony marking the third anniversary of the West Sea Battle on June 29. The ceremony will take place before the commemoration monument at the Second Fleet headquarters in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

The participants of the ceremony at sea will include the bereaved families of Lieutenant Commander Yoon Young-ha and other Navy seamen who were killed on board the high-speed ship Chamsoori-357, along with some 20 members of the 357 comrade association. This will be the first time for the bereaved families to visit the scene.

The ceremony will start on the morning of June 24, with a cheondoje, praying for the heaven-bound journey of the spirits of the dead, at the temple inside the Navy’s Second Fleet headquarters, where the mortuary tablets of the six rest. After this, the participants will board the Eul Ji Moon Deok, a 3000-ton destroyer, recite a letter of tribute, have a moment of silence, and then lay flowers on the sea.

The Navy is said to have decided on the date, June 24, the lunar anniversary of the 2002 Battle, through discussions with the bereaved families who are mostly Buddhists.

Lieutenant Lee Hee-wan (vice-commander of Chamsoori-357 at the time of the Battle), who lost his right leg due to the injury suffered during the Battle, will pay tribute to his former comrades. This will be the first time for him to return to the sea in a battleship since the incident.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com