Posted March. 27, 2010 06:51,
A series of ceremonies commemorating the centennial anniversary of the death of patriot Ahn Jung-geun was held at home and abroad yesterday.
Under the theme "Lamp of the People, Torch of Peace," the Patriots and Veterans Affairs Ministry held a national memorial service at Seoul Plaza in front of Seoul City Hall. Attending were around 2,000 people including Prime Minister Chung Un-chan, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, Patriots and Veterans Affairs Minister Kim Yang, key government officials, and Ahns descendants.
Chung said, It is regrettable and embarrassing that we have not gotten Ahns remains back. Well do our best to follow his sublime aspirations while trying to bring his body back.
Shortly after the event, Chung lit the "torch of peace" and marched a kilometer from Seoul Plaza to Gwanghwamun Square along with key government officials, citizens, Chinese and Japanese.
President Lee Myung-bak told a meeting of his secretaries at the presidential office, In his will, Ahn asked that his body be buried nearby Harbin Park temporarily and eventually be moved to his homeland when Korea recovers its sovereignty. I feel sorry for having failed to get his body back. I know it`s already too late. But Ill do my best to get his remains back while closely cooperating with China and Japan.
At Myongdong Cathedral in Seoul, Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, head of the Seoul Archdiocese, hosted Mass for Ahn.
"The first thing Ahn did after his resistance move against Japan was to pray. Even in prison, he prayed for 10 minutes before being executed. He was convinced that his behavior was consistent with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. And his fight for independence was basically an extension of his belief, the clergyman said.
At the time when the memorial service was held at Seoul Plaza, Great Korean, an organization paying tribute to Ahns patriotic endeavors, held its own memorial service at Hyochang Park where Ahn`s memorial grave is located.
Around 10,000 students took part in events to read dedicated poems and put handprints at 10 schools in Seoul.
A senior citizens` town in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, held an event to unveil Ahns statue. Paju Book City held an event to cross Eungchil Bridge, named after Ahns childhood name.
In New York, the Association of Commemorative Services for Patriot Kim Ku, the Korea Liberation Association, and the New York branch of Young Korean Academy hosted a memorial service and an exhibition of Ahns autographs. Around 500 people attended.