The ashes of patriots Lee Han-ho (1895-1960) and Hong Jae-ha (1892-1960), who dedicated their lives to the independence of Korea overseas, will return to their country in 62 years. The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs is also working to have back the ashes of patriot Hwang Ki-hwan who served as a sojourning employee at the London office of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and inspired a character named Eugene Choi in South Korean TV series “Mr. Sunshine.”
The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs announced on Sunday that a ceremony to celebrate the return of Lee and Hong’s ashes would be held in the west parking lot for events of Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport on Tuesday. The ceremony will be attended by over 250 people, including the patriots’ family members. Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Park Min-shik will present the Orders of Merit for National Foundation, posthumously conferred in 2019, to the small caskets holding the ashes of the patriots. Their ashes will be buried in Zone 7 for independence patriots at the Daejeon National Cemetery. Before returning to Korea, Lee’s grave was in a forest cemetery in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and Hong’s grave was in the municipal ceremony of Colombes, France.
Lee was active in a student-led anti-Japanese movement organization called Maenghodan in China in 1919. He dedicated his life to the development of the Republic of Korea as a consul general of the country in West Germany in 1954 after the country’s liberation. Hong raised funds for the country’s independence while serving as the second president of the predecessor of the association of Korean citizens in France and educated international alliances about Korea’s movement for independence.
The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs is also making efforts to have back the ashes of Hwang next year, which marks the 100th anniversary of his death. Hwang worked as the chief clerk of Dr. Kim Kyu-shik, who was dispatched to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and appealed to Europe and the U.S. about the injustice of Japan’s colonial ruling over the Republic of Korea as a sojourning employee of a London office before he passed away in New York in 1923. The South Korean government posthumously awarded the Order of Merit for National Foundation to Hwang in 1995. Hwang’s ashes are currently in the Mount Olivet Cemetery for those without surviving family or friends in Maspeth, Queens, New York.
Kyu-Jin Shin firstname.lastname@example.org