Gravesite of former President Roh Moo-hyun, via Yonhap.
One year ago Sunday, former president Roh Moo-hyun killed himself near his home in Bongha Village (봉하마을), Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do. The Hankyoreh and JoongAng Daily both have articles in English about Roh supporters who travelled to Owl Rock to mark the occasion.
Roh’s grave site, which was opened to the press on Wednesday, measures 3,206 square meters (34,509 square feet) and is shaped in an isosceles triangle. The boundaries of his tomb, funded with donations from his supporters, were completed this month after six months of construction. More than 38,000 granite stones line the tomb, each engraved with a message that mourns his death. One from former President Kim Dae-jung, written by his widow, Lee Hee-ho, reads: “I feel like half of my body collapsed.”
The graveside memorial service for Roh begins at 2 p.m. today and will be presided over by popular comedian Kim Jae-dong. Performances, a video clip and a memorial address and speech by a representative of Roh’s family are all scheduled. A pre-service memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. at Jeongtowon, a Buddhist temple where Roh’s ashes had been kept.
And while playing around on the internet a couple days ago, not actually looking for pictures of cute babies, I was surprised to see this series, easily my favorite of the late president, turn up on "Babies Making Faces" in April.
I was in Seoul for a couple meetings that weekend last May, and my girlfriend and I ran into a massive number of riot police while walking along Cheongyecheon. I assumed it was more trouble over American beef, which produced violence in that area a couple weeks earlier, and when I learned the next morning that he committed suicide amidst a bribery scandal, and that the police were preparing for some trouble downtown, I have to admit I wasn't terribly surprised. I'm not passionate about Korean politics, but I can appreciate where he came from and what he represented to a lot of people.