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Immortal Spirits of Independence Return Home

Posted October. 15, 2005 07:52,   


The following are the achievements of the patriotic forefathers whose remains are being repatriated.

Lee Dae-wi (1879.6-1928.6): He was born in Pyongyang and with Ahn Chang-ho and together with others, created Chinmokhoi (Social Gathering), the root of Korean groups in the Americas in 1903 in San Francisco. In March 1921, he established the Western Committee with Kim Kyu-sik and others, and as the head official strove to publicize diplomacy and independence. In 1995 he was posthumously awarded the National Foundation Medal.

Choi Bong-yoon (1914.5-2005.4): Born in Euiju, Pyongbuk, he joined a nationalist group named Ilmaekhoi while studying in Tokyo in 1935. In 1941, he joined the Chosun Euiyongdae American Support Group in Los Angels, and sponsored its activities. When the Korean Defense Forces (also known as the Brave Tiger Forces) were organized, he enlisted as a member of the California militia in December 1941, and prepared to fight against the Japanese. He was awarded the Aeguk Medal for merit in national foundation in 1995.

Kang Ki-woon (1897.4-1944.9): Originating from Hoiryong, Hambuk, he worked as bodyguard after joining the Daehan People’s Association in April 1920 in Holung, China. He was arrested by the Japanese in April 1922, sentenced to a life imprisonment at the Gyeongseong Court, and was imprisoned until being released on February 7, 1933. The Korean government posthumously awarded him the Dokrip Medal for merit in national foundation in 1993.

Hyun Seok-chil (1880.1-1943.9): Born in Yonggang, Pyongnam, he conspired for the national independence movement of March 1919. Afterwards, he went to Seoul and participated in the movement to found the Hansung provisional government. On April 23 of the same year, he was arrested by Japanese forces when leading independence movements and preparing a declaration to establish a provisional government. In 1935 he went to Manchuria and worked as the Dong-A Ilbo head of Branch in Harbin. The Korean government posthumously awarded him the National Foundation Medal in 2004.

Seung Dae-eun (1874-1920) and Seung Byung-gyun (1893-1920): Both came from Jongju, Pyongbuk, and both worked in Jilin Province, China, an autonomous region, for Hanjokhoi, a Korean independence movement group, until they were killed by a surprise attack from Japanese soldiers. The Korean government posthumously awarded them both the Aeguk Medal for merit in national foundation in 1991.

Hyung-June Park lovesong@donga.com