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[Scenes from Korea] Remembering Roh Moo-hyun
Mourners gather at Deoksu Palace and makeshift memorial centers across Korea
Cynthia Yoo (cloudatlas)     Print Article 
Published 2009-05-27 04:26 (KST)   
This is a partial translation of OhmyNews article in Korean. Photo slideshow of former President Roh can be found here. Scenes at mourning centers can be found here, here, and here.  <Editor's Note>
Mourners continue to gather at Deoksu Palace

Many citizens line up to pay respects at the memorial center set up at Deoksu Palace on May 26.
©2009 Kwon WS

It has been two days since official government memorial centers for former President Roh Moo-hyun have been set up at Seoul Train Station and Seoul History Museum, however mourners have continued to flock to the non-government memorial centers at Deoksu Palace.

From the morning of May 25 to 1 pm on May 26, about 26,351 mourners paid their respects at the two government memorial centers; however over 150,000 mourners have attended the non-government centers at Deoksu Palace. Despite the relative ease and comfort of attending the government memorial centers and long hours of wait-lines at Deoksu Palace, citizens continue to gather at Deoksu Palace.

Mourners gather at Deoksu Palace to pay their respects.
©2009 Kwon WS

Why have they chosen to pay their respects at the non-government memorial centers?

Mrs. Gang-soon Lee (55) responded that, "Citizens have set these centers up, of their own will. It has much more meaning than the government centers." A Mrs. Hwang (60) added that, "Actually, we came last weekend with our family to pay our respects, but the police was unbelievable."

"We came with our sister-in-law who is in her seventies but when she saw the police buses blocking the paths to the memorial centers, she kicked a police bus saying, 'If I only had the strength, I'd push this bus down.' So they [the government] think they can just set-up these memorial centers while still barricading Cheonggyechon square and City Hall square?"

Seoul City Hall Square remains barricaded by police. Such actions to 'block public mourning' have earned the public's wrath.
©2009 Nam SY

Donations of food and water, already 600 volunteers at Deoksu Palace

Already 600 volunteers have served the mourners at Deoksu Palace. On May 26 alone, 100 new volunteers have signed up. They guide visitors along the paths, hand out water bottles, flowers, and show mourners how to leave messages along the paths. About 10,000 water bottles are handed out each day. There have been many donations to the Deoksu memorial center. On this day alone, 200 boxes of coffee cans, 100 boxes of instant noodles and 100 boxes of candles were donated.

Scenes of mourning

On May 26, in front of Deoksu Palace, participants hold photos of people who have been died since Lee Myung-bak's administration began.
©2009 Kwon WS

Long lines of mourners to Deoksu Palace stretch out into City Hall subway station. They have posted their remembrances of President Roh on the walls of the station.
©2009 Kwon WS

Lines of mourners carrying candles wind along the walls of Deoksu Palace.
©2009 Kwon WS

Mourners covered police buses that barricaded Deoksu Palace, with notes of remembrance.
©2009 Nam SY

A mourner falls down in grief at the memorial center at Bongha village.
©2009 OhmyNews

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Cynthia Yoo

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