Memorial Days

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The MPVA designates certain holidays and organizes various events to commemorate the noble sacrifices and contributions made for our nation and to preserve their legacy throughout the following generations. Such days and events are opportunities for patriots, veterans, and their bereaved families to feel proud and appreciated, and for the citizens to renew their sense of patriotism.

Anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement

On March 1st 1919, the nation’s determination to be liberated from Japanese imperial rule was expressed in non-violent protests in the form of Mansae (long live Korea) movements. Such protests were held throughout the country. They became a catalyst for establishing the Provisional Korean Government in Shanghai, which gave the Independence Movement better organization and unity.

Anniversary of the Provisional Government Foundation of Republic of Korea (April 13)

This Day commemorates the foundation of the Provisional Government of Korea, which introduced the first democratic republic in the history of Korea. It was the center of resistance against Japanese colonialism from its establishment in Shanghai, China in 1919, to the end of the colonization era in 1945.

April 19 Revolution Day

April 19 Revolution Day commemorates the demonstration led by students against a rigged election on March 15 of 1960. The Revolution was the first movement that took place to protect liberal democracy in the constitutional history of Korea. As a result of the movement, President Rhee Syngman stepped down from power on April 26.

May 18th Democratic Movement Day

On May 17th, 1980, the Korean military orinted government imposed a state of Martial Law which provoked the democratic civil upring. The citizens of Gwangju rose up in protest against military dictatorship and promote democracy, development of human rights. In May of 1997 the government designated May 18th to be a national commemorative day. And on July 27, 2002 designated the May 18th Democratic Uprise Cemetery as a National Cemetery Park.

Merit Reward Month (June)

June has been designated as Merit Reward Month. At this time, the MPVA works its hardest to heighten community interest and awareness in patriotic actions. Memorial Day takes place on the 6th, while the start of the Korean War is memorialized on the 25th. These various events are held to memorialize the spirit of these patriots and veterans. Merit Reward Month is observed as a “Period of Remembrance”, before and after Memorial Day; a “Period of Thanks,” in the middle of June; and a “Period of Unity and Harmony”, before and after June 25th. Through these period, the MPVA hopes to inspire the common people with the ideals of liberation-patriots &veterans and stimulate an atmosphere in which their deeds will be honored with the utmost respect.

Memorial Day (June 6)

Memorial Day was enacted in 1956 to recognize the Sacrifice and Contribution to the nation of liberation patriots and veterans. The MPVA holds Memorial Day ceremonies at the National Cemetery and at local memorial monuments across the country.

Korean War Day (June 25)

Under the charge of the Korean Government, this is a Commemoration to remember the Korean War which broke out on June 25th, 1950. In order to enhance the public's perception of security, the government has commissioned the Korean Veterans Association to hold several commemorative events.

UN Forces Participation Day - Korean War Veterans Day(July 27)

This day was established to honor Korean war veterans, remember the noble meaning of UN Forces Participation and commemorate Korean war armistice day. In July of 2013, our government designated July 27th to be an official commeration day.

National Liberation Day (August 15, National Holiday)

The national holiday celebrates Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule on August 15th, 1945 and the establishment of the precursor for the Korean Government. The Republic of Korea was not created until 1948 through plebiscite vote and the first national government installed under President Syngman Rhee.

Veterans' Day (October 8)

Veterans Day was established to honor veterans and their contributions to national security and service abroad, and to publicly recognize their great sacrifices. It is of particular importance to honor those who were killed in the Korean War and to instill proper historic perspective for the importance of the War among post-war generations.

Patriotic Martyr’s Day (November 17)

A nationally designated date focused on relating to future generations the spirit of independence and sacrifice of patriotic martyrs who dedicated themselves to recover the sovereignty of the nation. On this day, people pay tribute to the shining spirit and distinguished service of these patriots. On Nov. 21, 1939, it was determined that Nov. 17, the day the Japan-Korea Protectorate Treaty was concluded, would be designated as the Joint Commemorative Day for Patriotic Martyrs. It was celebrated under the auspices of the Korean Provisional Government until Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule on Aug. 15, 1945. From 1946 to 1961, private organizations hosted commemorative events, while the MPVA held such events from 1962 to 1969. The events were then sponsored again by private organizations from 1970 to 1996. Reflecting the long-cherished expectations and wishes of the bereaved families of independence fighters, the day was reinstated as a governmental day of commemoration upon the revision of the Regulations on Various Commemorative Days on May 9, 1997. The government has hosted commemorative events since Nov. 17, 1997.